The Tall Tale in American Folklore and Literature
To Carolyn Brown s mind, the tall tale is not necessarily an account of the adventures of a larger-than-life hero, nor is it just a humorous first-person narrative exaggerated to outlandish proportions. It is as well an interaction between teller and audience a game played at the hazy border between the credible and the incredible, a challenge and an entertainment at the same time. The tall tale is also a social statement that identifies and binds a folk group by flaunting the peculiar knowledge and experiences of group members, and it is a tool for coping with a stressful or even chaotic world, for conquering life s problems by laughing at them.
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