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A Tale Type and Motif Index of Early U.S. Almanacs
     

A Tale Type and Motif Index of Early U.S. Almanacs

by J. Michael Stitt, Robert K. Dodge
 

Early American almanacs are fascinating resources for insight into the life, attitudes, and culture of the new nation. Along with calendars and maps, political events, agricultural advice, medicinal cures, and other information, many almanacs printed tales, stories, and jokes designed to entertain. Never before systematically organized, most of this narrative

Overview

Early American almanacs are fascinating resources for insight into the life, attitudes, and culture of the new nation. Along with calendars and maps, political events, agricultural advice, medicinal cures, and other information, many almanacs printed tales, stories, and jokes designed to entertain. Never before systematically organized, most of this narrative material has remained obscure for two hundred years. Here a literary scholar and a folklorist combine skills to catalog and index this material from over a thousand almanacs according to the standard methodology established by the Aarne-Thompson Type and Motif Indexes.

The volume illuminates much of the richness in content and form of this materials. In content, there are stories dealing with ethnic and racial groups; with animals; with members of professions and trades; servants, bumpkins, and tricksters—often stereotypical and antifeminist. In form, there are puns; humorous anecdotes; and comic, tragic, and fabulous tales, including tales with literary counterparts and tales with folk counterparts, notably the classic American tall tales. The Motif Index and a shorter Tale Type Index comprise the heart of the volume. Also included are a bibliography of the almanacs indexed and an index of subjects. The work begins with detailed information on how the index was constructed and how to use it. Of value to folklorists and students of American humor and popular culture, the volume should also expose an interesting body of material for further study and enjoyment.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A literary scholar and a folklorist have combined skills to catalog and index material from over a thousand almanacs, according to the standard methodology established by the Aarne-Thompson Type and Motif Indexes. The Motif Index and a shorter Tale Type Index are accompanied by a bibliography of the almanacs indexed, an index of subjects, and an introduction detailing how the work was constructed and how to use it. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313260483
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/30/1991
Series:
Bibliographies and Indexes in American Literature Series , #14
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.88(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

J. MICHAEL STITT is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A folklorist, he has published extensively in journals such as Western Folklore and Journal of American Folklore. His specialty is in Old English and Old Norse materials, and he is completing a critical study of Beowulf.

ROBERT K. DODGE is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, specializing in early American literature and humor. He has published many articles on almanacs, and his anthology Early American Almanac Humor reprints some of this material. He is working on a topical index to the almanacs.

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