- Hardcover: 556 pages
- Publisher: Greenwood (September 23, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781573560252
- ISBN-13: 978-1573560252
- ASIN: 1573560251
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,368,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Storytelling Encyclopedia: Historical, Cultural, and Multiethnic Approaches to Oral Traditions Around the World
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From School Library Journal
This ambitious undertaking contains more than 700 entries on diverse aspects of the oral tradition. "There are doubtless entries that should have been included that have not been," Leeming writes in the preface, "and there are entries that some might find inappropriate or superfluous." In fact, the problem is neither the omission or inclusion of any particular topic, but rather a certain unevenness in the treatment of the material presented. When dealing with the ancient world, for instance, the work is sure and scholarly: this is an excellent reference for creation myths from almost anywhere. It also offers biographical information on anthropologists and folklorists not generally included in most sources. The problems arise in the book's treatment of more recent influences on storytelling, and in the way it makes connections between the ancient and modern worlds. Both Hans Christian Andersen and Carl Sandburg, for instance, are given short shrift in very brief entries. Elsewhere, the book simplistically presents the Hindu god Ganesa as a forerunner of Dumbo the Elephant and sees Gilgamesh's friendship with Enkidu reincarnated in Lethal Weapon. Indeed, when historical connections are made to the tales currently available to children, the focus is almost always on the Disney version instead of the considerable body of authentic folklore currently in print. Though Leeming's book contains some interesting material, Norma Livo's Storytelling Folklore Sourcebook (Libraries Unlimited, 1991) and Anne Pellowski's The World of Storytelling (Bowker, 1977) may be of more practical use to both students and storytellers.?Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Oryx, a well-known publisher in the storytelling field, presents an encyclopedia that includes entries on characters from both mythology and folklore as well as authors, storytellers, scholars, tale types, terminology, cultural traditions, and more. A selected bibliography is included, and most entries are followed by references to further reading. Cross references are included within the text. Major contributors are listed, but individual articles are not signed. This is unfortunate, as some of the entries are unbalanced and treatment is somewhat uneven, and perhaps knowing the individual author's credentials would help explain the biases. For example, the entry on "Afterlife" covers the traditions of nine cultures in 20 lines and then uses 29 more lines on one Nez Perce Coyote tale. The entry on "Giants" uses approximately 19.5 inches of space but the entry on the concept of "God" only nine inches. The well-known Mexican tale of the wailing woman, La Llorana, is mentioned under "Mexican storytelling" but has no entry of its own, while Pele, Percival, Persephone, and many other similar characters do. This encyclopedia is similar in structure to Jan Brunvand's American Folklore: An Encyclopedia (Garland, 1996). Although it is broader in scope than Brunvand's work, reaching beyond the United States to touch on a variety of cultural traditions, it is also less sure in its focus. Nonetheless, it includes a great deal of material not covered in any other reference source, making it a worthwhile purchase for public and academic libraries where usage justifies.?Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Greensburg, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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