What happens when students read a tale about one of the knights of King Arthur’s Round Table? What happens when they write one?… In the spring of 2011, I taught a three-week seminar to a small group of seventeen- and eighteen-year-old students on the story of Parzival, a tale written down by Wolfram von Eschenbach in the twelfth century. During it, I tried to show students a way of looking at literature and at the world by taking a journey into themselves.
The story of Parzival is the story of all teenagers – a quest to navigate the tumultuous waves of adolescence in a passionate search for their authentic selves, using honor, chivalry, loyalty, and love as guides.
During the seminar block, we read Parzival out loud, or the students read sections at home at their leisure, and recounted episodes in the class. We discussed themes and images, archetypes, history, and legend. But, most importantly, each student was required to write his or her own stories. Like the tale of Parzival, each one is set against the thrilling medieval backdrop of jousting and castles and crusades and kingdoms and strange mythical creatures—but each is as fresh and original as the students themselves.
The students in the class of 2011 and 2012 at the Great Barrington Waldorf High School are to be heartily commended for extraordinary work – amazing stories that are enticing, moving, funny, and wise – so compelling that they had to be published and shared.
You can buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or order it from your favorite independent bookstore! Or, local friends, please contact me and I’ll arrange pick up at the school for copies. (That will garner the most revenue for the school.) Please note that 100% of ALL PROFITS BENEFIT The Great Barrington Waldorf High School.