Monday, April 15, 2013

More thoughts on folklore

As we get ready for our meeting on Friday, here's another idea to think about.
Many tellers who tell folktales get the stories from books like this:
 "During the last years of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth, these myths and tales were collected by scholars and others who recognized their beauty and their importance in describing the Native American view of the world.  They wished to save them for others to enjoy before Anglo-European culture buried them forever."

"How are we to understand these myths?  Certainly not as "just-so" stories about the way things were, or as scientific explanations of the natural world.  They are allegories or parables that attempt to explain what it means to be human in an often unfriendly world.  Some tell how people should act and how to obey the customs of the tribe.  Others simply describe the way this are or how they came to be.  Some stories are regarded as sacred; others are not. All of them give tribal members standards to live by."
 (quotes from the Preface)

How does someone who is not from the original culture that told the story go about transmitting it to others?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Getting ready for our meeting

Since we will be discussing folktales at our meeting on Friday, April 19, here is a classic collection:
And a comment from the translator:
"Why, in English, were they called fairy tales in the first place?  For, despite a considerable population of devils, witches, goblins, and elves, there are, strictly speaking, no fairies in these stories.....
The reason is that when the tales first arrived in England, such "absurdities" were thought to be fit only for children, who were distinctly second-class citizens at the time. ... And since the tales were addressed to children, they were termed fairy tales and , by and large, gift-wrapped in a fairy-tale style that was supposed to appeal to children.
In the present century, however, and especially in the last few decades, the Tales for Young and Old....have, with no change on their part, become more and more modern..."

Do you think folktales still speak to adults?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Storytelling with Folktales - Our next meeting

Once upon a time...
Join us for a meeting on Friday, April 19, at 6:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Fee Lane in Bloomington.  We'll be talking about storytelling with folktales and sharing some stories.  IF you would like to share a story as part of this meeting, please email the coordinator at the Guild address.