The Tall Tale in American Folklore and Literature

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1989 - Literary Criticism - 168 pages
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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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Contents

The Intertwining of Oral
1
A Genre of the Folk
9
Varieties of Written Tales
39
A Natral Born Durnd
74
Roughing it on a Tall Frontier
89
Remembering Anything
108
A Note
122
Epilogue
128
Notes
139
Bibliography
153
Index
165
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