Editor’s Column

I am pleased to present to readers Oral Tradition Volume 34, comprising four essays that demonstrate, in the diversity of their topics and approaches, the broad reach of the study of orality and oral tradition. This volume brings together traditions from three continents—as well as, perhaps unexpectedly, the work of one of the twentieth century’s […]

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Back in the Foundation

Oral Tradition, 34 (2020):3-441 On an 1820-21 trip into the fledgling Serbian Principality, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (hereafter “Vuk”), the language reformer, orthographer, folklorist, and ideological father of the modern Serbian state,2 collected the song “The Building of Skadar” (“Zidanje Skadra”) from the guslar (bard) Old Man (Starac) Raško3 at Prince Miloš Obrenović’s manor in Kragujevac.4 […]

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Unraveling the Knot

Oral Tradition, 34 (2020):45-72  Introduction Proverbs are storehouses of traditional wisdom and are highly valued in Africa. Among the Akan of Ghana, proverbs are used in everyday conversations, storytelling, ancestral and royal praise singing, and conflict resolution, among other contexts. Proverbs may be expressed through drumming, horn-blowing, and dance gestures, and they may be illustrated […]

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About the Authors

Oral Tradition Volume 34 Dorian Jurić Dorian Jurić is a Canadian cultural anthropologist, folklorist, and railroad maintenance foreman whose research explores the political life of folklore in the Western Balkans. He has also recently become the Vice President of the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Folklore Association. His writing, on topics ranging from oral traditions […]

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Orality and Social Memory in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

Oral Tradition, 34 (2020):105-20 As any reader of Lolita knows, Vladimir Nabokov’s novel is characterized by the strong, central voice of its narrator, Humbert Humbert, opening as it does with one of the most famous apostrophes in literary history. Humbert lures readers in, seducing them with his confiding tone and the ornate register of his […]

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Learning to be Satisfied

Oral Tradition, 34 (2020):73-104 In memory of Barre Toelken “This is so, isn’t it?” —F. R. Leavis (1972:62) “Hane’ doo t’óó saad t’éí át’é jinóózį́į́’ át’éé da, t’áá bí be’iina’ haleeh.” —Rex Lee Jim (cited in Casaus 1996:10) Rough translation: “Stories (poems) are not just words to be thought about, they are to become life.” “[Poetry] […]

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