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The Folklore Muse: Poetry, Fiction, and Other Reflections by Folklorists Hardcover – October 15, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Folklore—the inherently creative expression, transmission, and performance of cultural traditions—has always provided a deep well of material for writers, musicians, and artists of all sorts. Folklorists usually employ descriptive and analytical prose, but they, like scholars in other social sciences, have increasingly sought new, creative and reflexive modes of discourse. Many folklorists are also creative writers, some well known as such, and the folk traditions they research often provide shape and substance to their work. This collection of creative writing grounded in folklore and its study brings together some of the best examples of such writing.

About the Author

Frank de Caro’s other books include An Anthology of American Folktales and Legends and (with Rosan Augusta Jordan) Re-Situating Folklore: Folk Contexts and Twentieth Century Literature and Art.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Utah State University Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874217261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874217261
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,036,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Moody on June 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Don't judge this book by its cover. Dressed up as a spinster textbook, in false-modesty-khaki with the unappetizingly prim J.Romney engraving of The Orphan Ballad Singers pinned chastely to its bosom, 'The Folklore Muse' reveals herself a lush, complex, imaginatively gathered and, dare I say, action-packed collection of all manner of unexpected writings by folklorists. Frank de Caro's anthology is broad. It is also deep, and full of fun. There are essays on being/becoming a folklorist, as I'd've hoped, including lovely, personal ones; for instance, Steve Zeitlin's piece likening building poems to laying rock-walls. Zeitlin's poetry is found here too, as are those of Carrie Hertz (her set, 'Absent Gods,' gave me chills), and the yearning elegance of Margaret Yokum's 'Opening Camp,' 'Echo, at Lakeside,' 'Where the Living Keep Watch,' and 'In Jewelweed.'

So many treasures, so many! There are stories, naturally, and one called 'Bigfoot Stole My Husband.' by Teresa Bergen. Bigfoot! I'm just saying. There is erudition here, but there are loads of life, heart, and humor too. These are folklorists, after all. I don't know why I should be so surprised. There is even a play. A commedia dell'arte play. An hysterical, touching, Fo-style satyrical play titled,'The Ramayana .... as if Sita Mattered,' by Danusha Goska, in which Sita acts out and upon the drama of the Ramayana. The last line of the play seemed to me particularly poignant, especially as the Gulf oil disaster gushes on: "Sita: I don't know. All I know is I can't take the injustice in what I used to think was completely beautiful. I have to find the better way."

Reviewed by Amanda Moody, June 27, 2010
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The Folklore Muse: Poetry, Fiction, and Other Reflections by Folklorists
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