The Wedding of Vlahinjic Alija represents a unique experiment in field collecting of oral traditional epic poetry. In order to determine whether and exactly how the text of a long epic would change as the best of oral poets told and retold it, Milman Parry first made a complete audio-recording of Avdo Međedović singing this long heroic narrative, and then some days later had the entire epic taken down again by dictation from the same singer.
Both texts, the sung (6053 verses) and the dictated (5883 verses) are presented in this volume, showing precisely the effects both of recomposition and of the “intervention” of writing by an amanuensis. Osmanbeg Delibegović i Pavičević Luka is 13,326 verses long, a modern oral traditional epic of truly Homeric length. It is the longest complete and continuous oral epic text that has yet been recorded anywhere in the modern world.