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Folktales in Newfoundland Oral Tradition: Structure, Style, and Performance

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It is often thought that while England has a rich heritage of legends, it lacks the range and variety of the Marchen found in the great nineteenth-century collections. The survival of such folktales in oral tradition in Newfoundland provides clear evidence that these narratives were once commonplace in England and Ireland and were transferred to the New World. Although the basic plots of the tales are similar to published versions in European collections, their structure is looser, more informal, and less predictable. The tales offer insights into the genre as a living, malleable, and virtuosic performance, which is difficult to capture on paper.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2009

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