Bridge Essay: Shifting Paradigms in Orality, Literacy, and Literature

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    This chapter outlines the “discovery” in the twentieth century of oral traditional art, from the perspective of the Homeric epics. It notes subsequent interest in comparative studies of a vast number of oral traditions from across the globe; it draws attention to the theorizing of oral cultures and oral practices (in particular, a questioning of a binary model of orality versus literacy); it points to the complex role that memory plays in the production of oral traditional song; and, finally, it asks whether we can judge oral art by the same standards that we apply to works of literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA Companion to World Literature
    EditorsKen Seigneurie
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherWiley Blackwell
    ISBN (Print)978-1-118-99318-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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