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March 22 , 2011

Folktales of Newfoundland (RLE Folklore)

The Resilience of the Oral Tradition


This collection of Newfoundland folk narratives, first published in 1996, grew out of extensive fieldwork in folk culture in the province. The intention was to collect as broad a spectrum of traditional material as possible, and Folktales of Newfoundland is notable not only for the number and quality of its narratives, but also for the format in which they are presented. A special transcription system conveys to the reader the accents and rhythms of each performance, and the endnote to each tale features an analysis of the narrator’s language. In addition, Newfoundland has preserved many aspects of English and Irish folk tradition, some of which are no longer active in the countries of their origin. Working from the premise that traditions virtually unknown in England might still survive in active form in Newfoundland, the researchers set out to discover if this was in fact the case.

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