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The introductory essay attempts, for the first time, to ...
The introductory essay attempts, for the first time, to place oral-formulaic theory into a larger theoretical context, relating it to structuralist activities in folklore and mythology. In the subsequent three chapters, the author employs a linguistically based stylistic criticism, investigating the use of fixed and flexible language in the poetry. These analyses in turn generate a list of semantically paired, or syndetic, formulas in Beowulf, a new emendation for a defective line in the Old English Rune Poem; and the isolation of a "theme of prophecy" in Eddic verse. The fourth chapter offers the first detailed survey of oral-formulaic criticism of Eddic poetry. Throughout the book, the author attempts to negotiate a shift from an older, structuralist theory of oral-formulaic composition to a more recognizable contemporary oral theory.
|Texts and Abbreviations|
|1||Fixed and flexible levels in syndetic formulas||3|
|2||Flexible formulas, systems, and strategies in the Old English Rune Poem||35|
|3||Flexible formulas, systems, strategies, and themes in Old Icelandic Eddic verse||61|
|4||A survey of oral-formulaic criticism of Eddic poetry||85|