The Singer of Tales, Volume 1

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Harvard University Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 307 pages
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This 40th anniversary edition of Albert Lord's classic work includes a unique enhancement: a CD containing the original audio recordings of all the passages of heroic songs quoted in the book; a video publication of the kinescopic filming of the most valued of the singers; and selected photographs taken during Milman Parry's collecting trips in the Balkans.

Parry began recording and studying a live tradition of oral narrative poetry in order to find an answer to the age-old Homeric Question: How had the author of the Iliad and Odyssey composed these two monumental epic poems at the very start of Europe's literary tradition? Parry's, and with him Lord's, enduring contribution--set forth in Lord's The Singer of Tales--was to demonstrate the process by which oral poets compose.

Now reissued with a new Introduction and an invaluable audio and visual record, this widely influential book is newly enriched to better serve everyone interested in the art and craft of oral literature.

 

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User Review  - lascaux - LibraryThing

Fascinating book requiring careful reading. Shows how 'authorship' and composition before blank paper are recent and relative modes of creation whereas for thousands of years ( or more?) some humans ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
SINGERS PERFORMANCE AND TRAINING
13
THE FORMULA
30
THE THEME
68
SONGS AND THE SONG
99
WRITING AND ORAL TRADITION
124
The Application
139
HOMER
141
THE ODYSSEY
158
THE ILIAD
186
SOME NOTES ON MEDIEVAL EPIC
198
APPENDICES
223
NOTES
277
INDEX
305
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Gregory Nagy is the Jones Professor of Classical Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University.

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