cover of book

Folklore and Literature: Rival Siblings
by Bruce Rosenberg
University of Tennessee Press, 1991
Paper: 978-1-62190-304-8 | Cloth: 978-0-87049-681-3
Library of Congress Classification PN681.R67 1991
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.02

Literature's dependence on a few folktale plots is a cliche, and the significance of structuralist theory cannot have escaped many scholars, so Rosenberg's insistence on the interrelation of folklore and literature is nothing new. He surveys the foundational work of Aarne, Thompson, and Propp and the oral-formulaic theories of Parry and Lord, but the references are too elliptical to be clear to nonspecialists, while explanations of methodology will be redundant to folklorists. Bits of good material, of interest to medievalists and other literary scholars (especially on Beo wulf and on Chaucerian narrative), are buried in this disjointed collection of chapters. Serious editorial lapses include the complete absence of footnotes, forcing inappropriate supplementary matter into the body of the text and further blurring its weak structure. The parity of literary and narrative-folklore studies is the author's underlying theme, but his preoccupation with status in the academic hierarchy does nothing to make his arguments on the symbiosis of the two disciplines more convincing.
- Patricia Dooley, Univ. of Washington Lib. Sch., Seattle
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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