Traditional Oral Epic: The <i>Odyssey</i>, <i>Beowulf</i>, and the Serbo-Croation Return Song
John Miles Foley offers an innovative and straightforward approach to the structural analysis of oral and oral-derived traditional texts. Professor Foley argues that to give the vast and complex body of oral "literature" its due, we must first come to terms with the endemic heterogeneity of traditional oral epics, with their individual histories, genres, and documents, as well as both the synchronic and diachronic aspects of their poetics.
Until now, the emphasis in studies of oral traditional works has been placed on addressing the correspondences among traditions—shared structures of "formula," "theme," and "story-pattern." Traditional Oral Epic explores the incongruencies among traditions and focuses on the qualities specific to certain oral and oral-derived works. It is certain to inspire further research in this field.
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Albert Lord Alija alliteration analysis ancient Greek associated Bajgoric ban's bane banica basic Bath Beowulf caesura chapter cola comparative complex compositional consists context decasyllable deseterac diachronic elements epic tradition essential idea evidence example feast flexibility Foley follows formulaic diction formulaic structure formulaic system guslar half-line Halil hemistich hero hexameter Homeric Ibro ictus idiolectal Iliad Indo-European inner metric instances Kukuruzovic leonine rhyme Lord meter Milman Parry motif Mujo multiformity narrative structure occurrences Odyssey Old English poetry oral epic oral traditional oral-derived Parry passage percent phrase placement poem poet poetic position possible proclitic prosody recurrent Return Song Ribnik right justification second colon second hemistich sequence Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian epic Shouting in Prison singer single Stolac story-pattern stress syllables synchronic syntactic thematic structure theme tradition-dependent traditional diction traditional phraseology traditional rules unit variation verb verbal correspondence verse whole-line formula word-type words Zadar