Journal of American Folklore

Journal of American Folklore 114.454, Fall 2001

Special Issue: James Macpherson and the Ossian Epic Debate
Special Editor: James Porter

Contents

Articles

    Porter, James, 1937-
  • "Bring Me the Head of James Macpherson": The Execution of Ossian and the Wellsprings of Folkloristic Discourse
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Macpherson, James, 1736-1796. Ossian.
    • Folklore -- Scotland.
    Abstract:
      The poems of Ossian, as presented to the world of the 18th century by James Macpherson, had an enormous influence on the course of Romanticism and the growth of folkloristics through key figures such as Johann Gottfried Herder. Controversy still surrounds the compilation of the poems because of Macpherson's free use of source material. The question of "authenticity" was the original reason for attacks on Macpherson and his methods, but in the present context of concern for the nature and study of folklore, this issue seems less important than Macpherson's own complex personality and motives, which involve not only his shifting identity but also his attitude toward his sources and his English-language audience, and shed light, as well, on the process of "recomposition" and on the difficulty of "translating" cultural meanings.
    Nagy, Joseph Falaky.
  • Observations on the Ossianesque in Medieval Irish Literature and Modern Irish Folklore
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    Subject Headings:
    • Macpherson, James, 1736-1796. Ossian.
    • Acallam na senórach.
    • Irish literature -- Middle Irish, 1100-1550 -- History and criticism.
    Abstract:
      The Scotsman James Macpherson's treatment of Fenian tradition (stories centered on the figure of Fionn mac Cumhaill and his band of heroes) in his Ossianic poems is anticipated in key respects in the Fenian literature of medieval Ireland, particularly in the monumental text "Acallam na Senórach" ("Dialogue of the Ancients"). Among the shared features are the authorizing conceit that the written text is the extension of a disappearing oral tradition; the use of Fenian story to further a nascent sense of nation and of "us" versus "them"; and a pronounced interest in the emotional reactions of the characters to and in the narrative situations. This anticipation of the Macphersonian agenda provides a fascinating glimpse of folklorismus, as well as of folklore, in the medieval literary corpus.
    McKean, Thomas A., 1961-
  • The Fieldwork Legacy of James Macpherson
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    Subject Headings:
    • Macpherson, James, 1736-1796.
    • Folklore -- Field work.
    Abstract:
      Discussions of James Macpherson and his work largely overlook his fieldwork techniques. Drawing on his own writings and the testimonies of his contemporaries, this article examines how motive, expectations, and early collecting work came together to form a pioneering fieldwork methodology for Gaelic culture. Macpherson's initial processing of material is also discussed, raising issues relevant today: the merits of different recording methods, transcription problems, and the processing of material for publication and ethical considerations. This article sidesteps the controversy to look at what Macpherson accomplished "on the ground" before becoming the most celebrated writer of his day.
    Bold, Valentina.
  • "Rude Bard of the North": James Macpherson and the Folklore of Democracy
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Macpherson, James, 1736-1796. Ossian.
    • Macpherson, James, 1736-1796 -- Influence.
    • United States -- Civilization -- Scottish influences.
    Abstract:
      This article examines the influence of James Macpherson's Ossianic verse on American cultural critics and writers. Remarks on the textual history of Macpherson's work in America--in Scottish, English, and domestic editions--are followed by an exploration of Macpherson's impact on American culture, including his period as Secretary to the Governor of British West Florida. By looking at a selection of poetic and political responses to Macpherson's Ossian, I suggest that the image of the Celt in America is founded in Macpherson's vision. Furthermore, I propose that Macpherson's folklore of an idealized, democratic Scotland had an indirect influence on the emergence of an American national identity.

Sound Review

    Morrison, Craig.
  • Folk Revival Roots Still Evident in 1990s Recordings of San Francisco Psychedelic Veterans
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Folk music -- United States.

Film Reviews

    Horton, Laurel.
  • Unraveling the Stories: Quilts as a Reflection of Our Lives (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Bole-Becker, Luanne. Unraveling the stories: quilts as a reflection of our lives [film]
    • Becker, Bob.
    • Quilts.
    Thomas, Jeannie B.
  • Barbie Nation: An Unauthorized Tour (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Stern, Susan. Barbie nation: an unauthorized tour [film]
    • Barbie dolls -- Social aspects.

Book Reviews

    Ainsworth, Cynthea L.
  • Tommy McGinty's Northern Tutchone Story of Crow: A First Nation Elder Recounts the Creation of the World (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Legros, Dominique. Tommy McGinty's Northern Tutchone story of crow: a First Nation elder recounts the creation of the world.
    • Tutchone Indians -- Folklore.
    Anderson, Richard W.
  • Gods of the City (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Orsi, Robert A., ed. Gods of the city.
    • Cities and towns -- Religious aspects.
    Beissinger, Margaret H.
  • Teaching Oral Traditions (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Foley, John Miles, ed. Teaching oral traditions.
    • Oral tradition -- Study and teaching.
    Belanus, Betty J.
  • New Tales for Old: Folktales as Literary Fictions for Young Adults (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • De Vos, Gail, 1949- New tales for old: folktales as literary fictions for young adults.
    • Altmann, Anna E.
    • Folklore in literature.
    Carr, Revell.
  • Deadhead Social Science: You Ain't Gonna Learn What You Don't Want to Know (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Adams, Rebecca G., ed. Deadhead social science: You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know.
    • Sardiello, Robert, ed.
    • Grateful Dead (Musical group) -- Influence.
    David, Jonathan C.
  • Fire in My Bones: Transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American Gospel (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Hinson, Glenn. Fire in my bones: transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American gospel.
    • African American public worship.
    Del Negro, Giovanna.
  • Che Bella Figura!: The Power of Performance in an Italian Ladies' Club in Chicago (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Nardini, Gloria, 1942- Che bella figura!: the power of performance in an Italian ladies' club in Chicago.
    • Italian American women -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Societies and clubs.
    Deutsch, James.
  • Polish-American Folklore (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Silverman, Deborah Anders, 1954- Polish-American folklore.
    • Polish Americans -- Folklore.
    De Vos, Gail, 1949-
  • Traditional Storytelling Today: An International Sourcebook (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • MacDonald, Margaret Read, 1940-, ed. Traditional storytelling today: an international sourcebook.
    • Storytelling.
    Dow, James R.
  • Folk Linguistics (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Niedzielski, Nancy A., 1964- Folk linguistics.
    • Preston, Dennis Richard.
    • Linguistics.
    Felton, D., 1964-
  • The Grateful Dead: The History of a Folk Story (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gerould, Gordon Hall, 1877- Grateful dead: the history of a folk story.
    • Grateful dead (Tale)
    Hansen, William.
  • Thêsauros Neoellênikôn Ainigmatôn (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Chatzêtakê-Kapsômenou, Chrysoula. Thêsauros Neoellênikôn ainigmatôn.
    • Riddles, Greek (Modern) -- History and criticism.
    Haring, Lee.
  • Poétique de conte: essai sur le conte de tradition orale (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Belmont, Nicole. Poétique de conte: essai sur le conte de tradition orale.
    • Fairy tales -- History and criticism.
    Maksel, Rebecca.
  • The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Eller, Cynthia. Myth of matriarchal prehistory: why an invented past won't give women a future.
    • Women, Prehistoric.
    Porter, Gerald, 1946-
  • Ballads, Songs and Snatches: The Appropriation of Folk Song and Popular Culture in British Nineteenth-Century Realist Prose (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Jackson-Houlston, C. M. (Caroline Mary), 1950- Ballads, songs and snatches: the appropriation of folk song and popular culture in British nineteenth-century realist prose.
    • English fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
    Vaughan, Theresa A.
  • Star Trek and Sacred Ground: Explorations of Star Trek, Religion, and American Culture (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Porter, Jennifer E., 1964-, ed. Star trek and sacred ground: explorations of Star trek, religion, and American culture.
    • McLaren, Darcee L., 1965-, ed.
    • Star Trek films -- Religious aspects.
    Wein, Elizabeth.
  • Hex Signs: Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Symbols and Their Meaning (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Yoder, Don. Hex signs: Pennsylvania Dutch barn symbols and their meaning.
    • Graves, Thomas E.
    • Hex signs -- Pennsylvania.
    Wein, Elizabeth.
  • Alas, Poor Ghost! Traditions of Belief in Story and Discourse (review)
    [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Bennett, Gillian. Alas, poor ghost! traditions of belief in story and discourse.
    • Folklore -- Great Britain.



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