The Powers of Genre describes a method for interpreting oral literature that enables dialogue between insiders and outsiders to a tradition. Seitel illustrates this method with lively examples from Haya (from Northwestern Tanzania) proverbs, folktales, and heroic verse. He then focuses on a single epic ballad to demonstrate, among other things, why stanzas need not rhyme, and how significance needs time in oral poetry and narrative. He makes a controversial claim that an heroic age, similar to that of Ancient Greece, existed in Sub-Saharan Africa. The work should interest anyone who works in oral literature and narrative -- folklorists, literary critics, anthropologists, linguists, and Africanists.

Reviews ( 0 )
Once a month we give presents to the most active reader.
Post more reviews and get a reward!
Quotes (0)
You can first publish a quote