In the special issue “Digital Mediävistik” of the journal “Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung”, an article about Social Network Analysis of Middle High German Arthurian romances will soon be published. The article addresses the question of the relationship between fairy tales and Arthurian romances, but aims to systematically and methodically redefine it. For this purpose, we firstly identify properties of the European folktale, which we, secondly, operationalize for the computational analysis and apply to a text corpus consisting of classic Arthurian romances (Hartmann’s von Aue: ‚Erec‘, and ‚Iwein’, Wolfram’s von Eschenbach ‚Parzival‘).
The investigation is carried out using data-driven methods, primarily the Social Network Analysis, and focusses on various aspects of the characters. In this way, we gain a differentiated understanding of the relation between Arthurian romances and the ‘simple form’ of fairy tales on the one hand, and the differences within the selected texts on the other hand. We show that the complex results of the statistical analyses refuse clear interpretations and thus provide new insights into the well-known objects.
The special issue “Digitale Mediävistik” including this article by Manuel Braun and Nora Ketschik will be published presumably in June 2019.