Bloody Mary in the Mirror
Essays in Psychoanalytic Folkloristics
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: University Press of Mississippi
Title Page, Copyright
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Folkloristics is the study of folklore, much as linguistics is the study of language. The discipline of folkloristics may be said to have begun with the writings of Herder, who coined the term "Volkslied" [folksong] in 1773, and the celebrated publications of the brothers Grimm, whose famous...
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I would like to thank, first of all, my daughter, Professor Lauren Dundes, a member of the sociology department of Western Maryland College, who was the senior coauthor of two of the essays included in this volume. The inspiration for the essay on Disney's "The Little Mermaid...
1. The Psychoanalytic Study of Religious Custom and Belief: Ritual Fasting, Self-Mutilation, and the Deus Otiosus
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One of the possible approaches to the study of religious custom and belief utilizes the principles of psychoanalysis. There is an abundant literature devoted to the psychoanalytic consideration of religion (cf. Saffady 1976; Wallace 1990). Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi's annotated bibliography...
2. The Vampire as Bloodthirsty Revenant: A Psychoanalytic Post Mortem
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In accordance with a pronounced penchant for the ritual number three, Western folklorists are prone to divide cultural materials into a tripartite classificatory scheme: elite culture, mass or popular culture, and folklore. Sometimes these admittedly somewhat arbitrary categories are mutually...
3. Projective Inversion in the Ancient Egyptian "Tale of Two Brothers"
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In 1852, the text of an ancient Egyptian folktale, written on papyrus, known as the "Tale of Two Brothers" was first revealed to the scholarly community. This tale has been called, rightly or wrongly, "The Oldest Fairy Tale in the World" (Hollis 1990). However, it is certainly not the...
4. The Trident and the Fork: Disney's "The Little Mermaid" as a Male Construction of an Electral Fantasy (with Lauren Dundes)
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Most of the tales written by Hans Christian Andersen were not taken from oral tradition. Although he occasionally borrowed motifs from such tradition, the greater portion of his so-called fairy tales were strictly literary creations. The distinguished Danish folklorist Bengt Holbek...
5. Bloody Mary in the Mirror: A Ritual Reflection of Pre-Pubescent Anxiety
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One of the most disheartening aspects of folkloristics, the scientific study of folklore, is the persistent lack of analysis or interpretation. It is not just popularizers who churn out anthology after anthology of "texts only" without attention to context or possible meaning(s) of such texts, but...
6. The Elephant Walk and Other Amazing Hazing: Male Fraternity Initiation through Infantilization and Feminization (with Lauren Dundes)
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The history of hazing is long and filled with cruel practices (Cams 1909, Nuwer 1999:92-115). Hazing is somewhat analogous to what was known in England as "fagging" (Thwing 1878-79:331, Hutchinson 1896), but fagging is more a matter of personal servitude whereas "hazing is a test of...
7. The Greek Game of Makria Yaidoura [Long Donkey]: An Adolescent Articulation of a Mediterranean Model of Masculinity
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In the December 29,1883, issue of the Athenaeum, J. Theodore Bent reported "Some Games played by modern Greeks/' a brief note that was reprinted the very next year in the Folk-Lore Journal One of the games he observed on the island of Samos was called "How many?" He described...
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Several years ago, the editors of Who's Who in America invited those individuals profiled in that volume to submit a personal closing statement under the rubric of "Thoughts on My Life." The statement was supposed to be a succinct autobiographical summary of the "principles, goals, ideals...
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Page Count: 141
Publication Year: 2002