The Powers of Genre: Interpreting Haya Oral Literature

Hardcover | December 1, 1998

byPeter Seitel

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The Powers of Genre describes a method for interpreting oral literature that depends upon and facilitates dialogue between insiders and outsiders to a tradition. Seitel illustrates this method with lively examples from Haya proverbs, folktales, and heroic verse. He then focuses on a singleepic ballad to demonstrate, among other things, why stanzas need not rhyme, and how significance needs time in oral poetry and narrative. Making a controversial claim that an heroic age, similar to that of Ancient Greece, existed in Sub-Saharan Africa, this work will intrigue anyone who works inoral literature and narrative.

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From the Publisher

The Powers of Genre describes a method for interpreting oral literature that depends upon and facilitates dialogue between insiders and outsiders to a tradition. Seitel illustrates this method with lively examples from Haya proverbs, folktales, and heroic verse. He then focuses on a singleepic ballad to demonstrate, among other things,...

Peter Seitel is at Smithsonian Institution.
Format:HardcoverPublished:December 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019511700X

ISBN - 13:9780195117004

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"The author's attention to detail must be commended. Detailed texts of three well-known epic ballads are carefully presented and annotated...The author's genre-based approach allows for a detailed, informed analysis of texts perse, as well as an understanding of the intertextual and, to someextent, contextual complexities that accompany such narratives."--Anthropological Linguistics