A Translation of Johannes Pauli's Didactic Tales: Lessons from the Past for Our Future
The Franciscan preacher and author Johannes Pauli published a highly influential collection of sermon narratives, Schimpf und Ernst, in 1522. This was a major bestseller well into the 17th and 18th centuries. These short prose narratives (the original work consisted of 693 texts) set the stage for many subsequent anthologies of jest narratives by sixteenth-century writers such as Georg Wickram and Hans-Wilhelm Kirchhof. The two title terms derive from Horace’s “prodesse et delectare” (to profit and to delight), used here to reference entertaining teachings about human shortcomings, foolishness, virtues and vices. Pauli offered valuable insights into matters such as truth, greed, lust, anger, war and peace, violence and love, gender issues, and communication. The present translation makes the majority of these tales available for the first time in the English language.
Dr Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona, USA. He has published 126 scholarly books on German and European medieval and early modern literature, the most recent of which being The Secret in Medieval Literature (2022) and Globalism in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Ages (2023). He has won numerous awards for his teaching (Carnegie Professor of the Year, 2012), service (Honorary member of the American Association of Teachers of German, 2022), and research (Henry Koffler Prize for Research, 2009). The German government bestowed the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Band upon him in 2004, and he was knighted in 2017 (The Most Noble Order of the Three Lions). In 2022, he received a Fulbright grant for Egypt. He is the editor of three journals, Mediaevistik, Humanities, and Current Research Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, and he has published almost 780 scholarly articles and more than 2900 book reviews.
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