Read e-book online Allegorical speculation in an oral society: the Tabwa PDF

By Robert Cancel

ISBN-10: 0520097394

ISBN-13: 9780520097391

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Extra resources for Allegorical speculation in an oral society: the Tabwa narrative tradition

Example text

A fonnula is literally repeated. ~. rJonncrs, he ootrectl)' notes the. snce of lhc "pl ;~y(ul" nature of lhe oral perfonmmce. I I As happens in dilemma or conundrum tales. Meyer (1956: 39-40. 81) combines Gestalt and music thcot)! 10 examine the notion of txpcctaLions and affcc1. nns say of idcnticall)• repeated word patterns- then. d Parry. ·' .. then the. ise. despite the statistic" (quoted in Stoltz and Shannon. 1976: 160). ble. mcrus in the Or'3l ttadition are mote fixed. and therefore mQre fOrntulaic, th:sn others.

S If anytlting, tile effon is subvened by the reatity that story1elliog. t110ugh based in a communal context, is often an individual expression that creatively composes new stories or at least fosters the illusion ofnovelty. 6 During performance, tO give the plot defmite form the storyteller supplies the details from a communal nexus of images and plots. This traditional context pro· vides an audience with a good deal of insight into the development of a panicular plot (Havelock 1967: 41·42; Bynum 1978: 28, 53).

Is the storyteller expressive in voice and gesture? \Vhat is lhe tcllcr•s rela- tionship to the specific audience during that session? Is the tone of the tale humorous or seriously didactic? How does the teller's personality shape the perfo rmance in context'! When the perfonner is not only in command of his or ber stage presence but also m inventive embellisher of narratives, the results can be both entertaining and tr:llsforming. One of the most accomplished storytellers I recorded is Mr. William Musonda.

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Allegorical speculation in an oral society: the Tabwa narrative tradition by Robert Cancel


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