New Release - Parzival: A Forerunner of the Modern Human Being June 25 2024

Forerunner of the Modern Human Being

The archetypal legend of the famous, bungling hero, Parzival, holds lessons for all human beings. We start out as ignorant ingenues, without a clue about the great world; stumbling after what we believe we want and wish to be, hurting others, making wrong assumptions, following rules others have laid out instead of finding for ourselves what it is that we are called to do.

Sonia Setzer is author of this in-depth study of Parzival, the classic character from early Medieval history. Following years of teaching literature in the Sao Paulo Waldorf School, and studying Parzival on her own, Setzer offers comprehensive understanding of the story’s symbolism. Her penetrating questions offer new insights into in this ancient tale of knightly pursuits.

Parzival’s story is intimately linked to the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Reading the journey of Parzival leads us in our contemporary lives through a passage of initiation. This path is one of ostensive success. Parzival is a valiant and glorious knight who ultimately cannot be defeated in jousting battles. Even in some downright comical scenes, in which Parzival becomes entranced by the memory of his beloved wife, unconscious to the world around him, he still defeats two qualified knights before returning to his reverie of his true love.

However, this external success leaves him yearning for something more, something of a higher order. When, at last, he comes to the mysterious and elusive Castle of the Grail, he fails the human test of asking the wounded king, Amfortas, what ails him. He leaves in disgrace and is told by a wise man that he has missed his chance. Perhaps the most modern moment in the story comes when Parzival refuses to accept defeat and is determined to create another opportunity to re-enter the Castle of the Grail and correct his error by healing King Amfortas. How like this time of consciousness when we all must take the initiative to defy old rules and old standing traditions and shape new ones toward a more caring future for the Earth—and for society.

Originally published in Portuguese, this new publication of Parzival is an invitation to consider Parzival as a magnificent role model for our own self-development and self-forgiveness. The power of imagination—forging our own purpose in life!

The book is now available at Waldorf Publications.