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dc.contributor.authorBoyd, Timothy W.eng
dc.date.issued2011-10eng
dc.descriptionWhen Albert Lord began the introduction to the work in which he would synthesize and analyze the material that he and his teacher, Milman Parry, had collected in the South Slavic world, he stated that "what was needed most in Homeric scholarship was a more exact knowledge of the way in which oral epic poets learn and compose their songs" (1960:3). For Parry and Lord, their knowledge came from the performances of the guslari, the traditional singers of heroic material, both Muslim and Christian. In the songs of such guslari as Salih Ugljanin, Sulejman Fortic, and especially Avdo Medjedovic, the two saw what they believed to be a convincing parallel with what appeared to be the compositional techniques of Homer--the use of basic building blocks of standardized elements such as "the formula" and "the theme." These, however, were just that: basic blocks. A poor, inexperienced, or mediocre singer could take a traditional story in skeletal form, and, with the aid of the blocks, flesh it out into at least a modest entertainment of a few hundred lines. A talented singer could go far beyond that, making elaborate songs of several thousand lines or more.1 This was clearly not simply a matter of memorizing and then performing--although a singer in training would indeed tend to learn blocks.2 Instead, it was a matter of combining such blocks with spontaneous creativity at the moment of performance to make something new that was both traditional and improvised simultaneously.eng
dc.descriptionIssue title: Festschrift for John Miles Foley. This article belongs to a special issue of Oral Tradition published in honor of John Miles Foley's 65th birthday and 2011 retirement. The surprise Festschrift, guest-edited by Lori and Scott Garner entirely without his knowledge, celebrates John's tremendous impact on studies in oral tradition through a series of essays contributed by his students from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1979-present) and from NEH Summer Seminars that he has directed (1987-1996).eng
dc.format.extent10 pageseng
dc.identifier.citationOral Tradition, 26/2 (2011): 553-560.eng
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10355/65243
dc.languageEnglisheng
dc.rightsOpenAccess.eng
dc.rights.licenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.
dc.titleMemory on canvas : Commedia dell'Arte as a model for Homeric performanceeng
dc.typeArticleeng


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