Summative Bibliography from Oral Tradition Journal

Summative Bibliography from ORAL TRADITIONIn the spirit of democratic exchange, the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition now offers an online, searchable bibliography that contains every book, article, film, or other item ever referenced in the journal Oral Tradition from its founding in 1986 onward. Composed of more than 15,000 entries on more than 100 different areas, this Summative Bibliography reflects international research and scholarship on the world's oral traditions from ancient times to the present day. It is an open-access, free-of-charge facility that will be updated as future issues of Oral Tradition are published.

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Oral-Formulaic Theory: Annotated Bibliography

Displaying entries 26 - 41 of 41 in total

1985 - L.M.C. Weston. "The Language of Magic in Two Old English Metrical Charms." Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 86:176-86.

Discusses the interrelationship of the poetics of Wi Færstice and the Nine Herbs Charms and their magical purpose, addressing specifically their functional aesthetics which, through the use of rhythm, paradigmatic repetition, and fragmentation of action, combines ritual and poetry in such a manner as to alter the consciousness of the participants to produce a type of magical thought which "triggers changes in the healer, who with increased force of will causes changes in the physical world by non-physical means" (186).
Area: OE

1985 - Elaine J. Lawless. "Oral Character' and Literary' Art: A Call for a New Reciprocity Between Oral Literature and Folklore." Western Folklore, 44:77-98.

Discusses the application of the Parry-Lord theory to folklore studies and provides a summary of the major influences in the area. Utilizing the example of women's sermons as "oral art," she provides a methodology for applying the Parry-Lord theory to "non-metered, non-narrative oral forms of poetic creativity" (89) and calls for a "reassessment of both concept and terminology and a refusal to accept the dichotomy of oral character' and literary art'" (96).
Area: FK, US, TH

1985 - O.A. Asagba. "The Folk-Tale Structure in Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drunkard." Lore and Language, 4, i:31-39.

A discussion of the "folktale structure and content" of the contemporary Nigerian author Amos Tutuola's short novel The Palm-Wine Drunkard which illustrates the infusion of themes and mifs such as the quest, the "quarrel between heaven and earth," the trickster, and magical transformations into the literate compositions of authors who are the product of traditional cultures. Also provides a brief Proppian analysis of the structure of the novel and demonstrates Tutuola's "episodic linkage" of episodes, which approximates the aesthetics of oral tale-telling.
Area: AF

1985 - Constance B. Hieatt. "Cædmon in Context: Transforming the Formula." Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 84:485-97.

Compares creation hymns from Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon to Cædmon's Hymn with respect to formulaic composition and the use of motifs and themse to describe the manner in which pre-Christian poetics addresses Christian ideas. Noting that traditional Germanic poetry relates the creation in terms of earth being formed before heaven, she concludes that Cædmon's Hymn is an examples of Lönnroth's "Creation theme" type-scene and that Cædmon expands "upon the formula's basic content [eorth/upheofon] at the same time that it contradicts it" (496).
Area: OE, ON, GM

1985 - R. Doctor. "Gujerati Proverbs: An Analytical Study." Lore and Language, 4, i:1- 30.

A brief analytical study of Gujerati folk proverbs of western India which discusses the proverb on two levels: that of the internal structure of the proverb iself and that of the argumentative application of the proverb to specific situations. Four sublevels of structure are treated: form of expression, substance of expression, substance of content (theme), and form of content (semiotics and logic). Illustrates how "Gujerati proverbs reflect the society and the ethos which gave rise to them" (2) and discusses the methods through which symbolic logic, linguistic philosophy, and semantics can provide new approaches to the study of proverbs.
Area: IN

1985 - Joseph F. Nagy. The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Gaelic Narrative Tradition. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Argues for the essential consistency of the narratives of the boyhood deeds of Finn in the Gaelic tradition from the twelfth century through recent folktale versions collected in Ireland and Scotland, maintaining that such variations as have occurred have enriched the tradition's ideological significance. Suggests that the tales of Finn's boyhood deeds, while rooted in pre-history, express and preserve fundamental Indo-European and Celtic beliefs regarding passage into adulthood, the relationships between this world and "the other," outlawry, and the institution of the bards which transcend the specific historical situation of any particular audience or performance.
Area: OI, IE, MI

1985 - Saad Abdullah Sowayan. Nabati Poetry: the Oral Poetry of Arabia. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Discusses the social and cultural contexts of Nabati poetry, which, according to the author, determine the salient features of this form of oral literature; describes the composition, transmission; and performance of the poetry with special attention to the role of orality and memory in its transmission, and compares Nabati with classical Arabian poetry. Demonstrates the connections between Nabati and its ancient Pre-Islamic counterparts. While emphasizing the orality of the composition and transmission of the poetry, he challenges the applicability of the Parry-Lord theory to Nabati, maintaining "that orality' does not always, or necessarily, mean oral-formulaic,' and that attempts to fit ancient Arabic poetry into this classification are in error" (p. 183).
Area: AR

1985 - Eleanor R. Long. "Ballad Classification and the Narrative Theme' Concept Together with a Thematic Index to Anglo-Irish-American Balladry." In Ballad Research: The Stranger in Ballad Narrative and Other Topics. Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung of the Société Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folclore. Ed. Hugh Shields. Dublin: Folk Music Society of Ireland. pp. 1-19.

Summarizes the history of attempts at systematic ballad classification, suggesting a return to classification by the repertories of individual singers and by the social contexts of particular performances. Defines the concepts of "narrative unit" and "thematic unit" and describes the manner in which the two operate in actual ballad composition. Provides as an appendix a "Thematic Index to the International Popular Ballad" which catalogs thematic and narrative units and various sub-types of narrative units identified during the process of the author's earlier research.
Area: FB, BR, US, MI, CP

1985 - Kent Gould. "Beowulf and Folktale Morphology: God as Magical Donor." Folklore, 96:98-101.

Provides Icelandic analogs to the Hrunting element of Beowulf with emphasis upon the aspect of the donor of a gift, who "actually has two functions: testing and donating" (99). Sees the Christian God of the Anglo-Saxons becoming the "magical donor" with Beowulf's discovery of the giant sword after the failure of Hrunting because "He replaces Unferth's failed sword with an unfailing one, supplanting any heathen donors" (100). Concludes that a signficant difference between pre-Christian and Christian myth is apparent in the Hrunting episode and its analogs, since in the Christian tradition the "magic is workable only when the man is pure and strong enough himself to put it ot use" (99) and that such overlays of subsequent traditions illustrate, in the case of Beowulf, the "unique meld of ancient Germanic hero worship and recent Christian submission to God" (101).
Area: OE, ON, CP

1985 - Aurelio M. Espinoza. The Folklore of Spain in the American Southwest: Traditional Spanish Folk Literature in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Ed. J. Manuel Espinoza. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press.

The first publication of Espinoza's compiled fieldwork from the late 1930s, this study describes the Spanish folk literature of a region of the American southwest that has been almost completely isolated from the rest of the Spanish-speaking world since its settlement in the late 16th century. Part One of the book, written by the author's son, J. Manuel Espinoza, is a biographical account of the career, fieldwork, and methodology of Aurelio M. Espinoza, the pioneer folklorist of Hispanic New Mexico. Part Two is a compilation of the senior Espinoza's fieldwork in the traditional Spanish folk literature of the area, covering folk ballads, religious folk literature, proverbs, folktales, and traditional religious and secular folk drama. Two appendices describe the Spanish dialects of the area and the nature of Spanish literary traditions among the Pueblo Indians. Also included are a comprehensive bibliography of the writings of Aurelio M. Espinoza and an extensive selective bibliography of works in the field.
Area: AI, HI

1985 - Flemming G. Andersen. Commonplance and Creativity. Odense University Studies from the Medieval Centre, vol. 1. Odense: Odense University Press.

The first comprehensive study of oral-formulaic narrative technique in the traditional ballads of England and Scotland, this work offers a new definition of the ballad formula in which "formulas combine narrative and supra-narrative functions, and are characterized by variation on the narrative level, and stability on the supra-narrative level. Ideally, formulas can thus be seen to operate on three levels in all" (pp. 33-34): the supra-narrative or associative level, the level of formulaic lines and stanzas (the surface structure level), and the deep structure level, or that of the basic narrative idea. Part I of the book is dedicated to the development of this definition. Part II describes the narrative function of ballad formulas, including discussion of the linear and stanzaic formulas and the "formulaic situation" (pp. 59-67), with special emphasis placed upon the role of the formula in ballad transmission. Part III deals with the supra-narrative function of the ballad formula and analyzes separately the introductory, situational, transitional, and conclusion types, noting that, while the specifics of the ballad formula cannot be transferred from one tradition to another due to significant differences in subject matter, "this particular stylistic function of formulaic diction may be a characteristic feature of traditional balladry in general" (p. 285). Part IV is an application of the author's ideas to ballad texts from Falkland, Gloucestershire, and Aberdeen.
Area: FB, ST, FA, BR, TH

1985c - John Miles Foley. "Indoevropski metar i srpskohrvatski deseterac." Nauni sastanak slavista u Vukove dane, 15:339-44.

A brief description of the Indo-European background of the South Slavic decasyllable and of the implications of that history for the prosody and phraseology of the SC oral epic. References to other IE meters are included.
Area: IE, SC, AG, OE, CP

1985b - John Miles Foley. "Oral Narrative and Edition by computer." In Proceedings of the XIth International Conference of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing. Ed. Jacqueline Hamesse and Antonio Zampolli. Paris and Geneva: Champion and Slatkine. pp. 173-82.

A companion to earlier articles on establishing computerized editions of oral epic (see Foely 1981, 1982), this article presents examples of the phraseological and narrative analyses made possible by the text-processor HEURO.
Area: SC, OE, AG, PT

1985a - D.K. Wilgus. "The Aisling and the Cowboy: Some Unnoticed Influences of Irish Vision Poetry on Anglo-American Balladry." Western Folklore, 44:255-300.

Studies the influences of three types of Irish vision poetry, the love- or fairy-aisling, the prophecy aisling, and the allegorical aisling, in folk ballads of the western United States, concluding that geographical distances are "spanned by the tenacity of the folk tradition of which we are all a part..." (300).
Area: FB, MI, US

1985b - D.K. Wilgus. "The Catalogue of Irish Traditional Ballads in English." In Ballad Research: The Stranger in Ballad Narrative and Other Topics. Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung of the Sociéte Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folclore. Ed. Hugh Shields. Dublin: Folk Music Society of Ireland. pp. 21-33.

Describes the background and format of the forthcoming Catalogue of Irish Traditional Ballads in English, providing examples from ballads on "Love Relations" and "Irish History."
Area: FB, MI, CP

1985a - John Miles Foley. Oral-Formulaic Theory and Research: An Introduction and Annotated Bibliography. Garland Folklore Bibliographies, 6. Alan Dundes, General Editor. New York and London: Garland Publishing.

The introduction contains a comprehensive history of scholarship and research in the field from its beginnings through 1982 and offers as suggestions for future work three methodological principles for comparative criticism: tradition-dependence, a recognition of the unique features of each oral poetic tradition which in comparing works from different traditions "admits both similarities and differences concurrently, which places the general characterics of oral structures alongside the particular forms they may take in a given literature" (69); genre-dependence, "demanding as grounds for comparison among traditions nothing less than the closest generic fit available, and, further, calibrating any and all comparisons according to the comparability of the genres examined" (69), a principle which also "encourages comparison of genres if a basic congruity can be established" (69); and text-dependence, "the necessity to consider the exact nature of each text" (69) including the circumstances surrounding the collection, transmission, editing processes, and text diplomacy. The bibliography contains a comprehensive list of annotations on studies through 1982 in 100 language areas, as well as theory, bibliography, concordance, film, and music.
Area: BB, TH, CP