Tuesday, August 9, 2011

To collect popular stories is either a most difficult or a most easy task. Everybody who finds nothing better to do thinks he is able at least to write down the stories which his nurse has told him. But this, you know, is a great mistake. First of all, not every story that an old woman may tell deserves to be written down and printed. There is a particular earthy flavour about the genuine home-grown, or, if I may say so, autochthonic Marchen - something like the flavour of the dark-red wild strawberry - which we must learn to appreciate before we can tell whether a story is old or new, genuine or made-up; whether it comes, in fact, from the forest or from the hothouse. This is a matter of taste; but, as tasters of wine or tea will tell you, even taste can be acquired. - F Max Muller

Thursday, August 4, 2011

'The picture showman has thrived throughout Indian history..We know the social (namely, low), economic (poor), and religious (lay) status of Indian picture reciters. ..More important, we have learned that they are normally illiterate, that the shape of their narratives is determined by various oral and pictorial formulaic devices, and the printed versions of their tales are the products of local scribes and publishers.' - Victor H. Mair in Tʼang transformation texts.
'One of the most common critiques of folktales once they are written down is that they lose their vibrancy as stories because they have been taken out of an interactive sphere. Oral, performed renditions of tales contain elements that written tales cannot possess.' - Amie A. Doughty in Folktales retold: a critical overview of stories updated for children