This review pertains to the 'German Library' Hardcover Edition, edited by Andre Lefevere.
Eschenbach's Parzival is of utmost historical significance. Written by a self proclaimed illiterate, this is one of the few stories to emerge from the dark ages. On the surface it is an Arthurian romance, a quest for the grail, and is very valuable as it describes the daily routines and practices of knights, made much more realistic than romanticized accounts of them as Eschenbach was in fact a ministerial-a poorer knight/soldier. On a deeper level, Eschenbach's tale has been highly studied as he was rumored to have links with the Knights Templar, and much speculation has been forwarded that this tale is codified with some of the secret knowledge they were rumored to possess in the form of anagrams and ciphers, a practice common in those times to mask information considered heretical by the church.
Unfortunately, this edition is of very little value to the student or researcher. The translation is incomplete, and highly edited with some passages made up entirely by the translator. This sad fact is admitted by Andre Lefevere in his forward, who claims that the original was too mundane and the text needed much 'cleaning up', so what you're left with is a harlequinized version of the story. I was very upset that this isn't mentioned in the initial editorial review, as this edition is not cheap by any means. Also, the footnotes are annoyingly redundant, unless you aren't aware of such thing as 'mounting a steed' means 'getting on a horse' or that 'the brother bought something to drink' because 'he was thirsty' (I'm not making these up).
In all, if I had known that this edition was a highly diluted translation of the original, I surely would not have invested forty dollars for it. Be forewarned, unless you are looking for a romance novel 'Based upon the Legend of Parzival', you may not be getting what you expect, and what you are paying quite a sum of money for.