- Parent Collection: Center for Hellenic Studies
Publications of the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature
The series promotes current research on oral traditions, particularly in the areas that relate most directly to the Collection’s holdings and the wide-ranging research of its founder, Albert Lord.
Below are the in-print works in this collection. Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
Embroidered with Gold, Strung with Pearls: The Traditional Ballads of Bosnian Women
Forty Bosnian traditional ballads are now available to the English reader in this bilingual edition offering a selection of never before translated or published materials from Harvard University’s Parry Collection. These songs were performed by Bosnian women and gathered in the Gacko region of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1930s.
The Medieval Icelandic Saga and Oral Tradition: A Discourse on Method
This work explores the role of orality in shaping and evaluating medieval Icelandic literature. Applying field studies of oral cultures in modern times to this distinguished medieval literature, Gísli Sigurðsson asks how it would alter our reading of medieval Icelandic sagas if it were assumed they had grown out of a tradition of oral storytelling, similar to that observed in living cultures.
Old Norse Mythology—Comparative Perspectives
The existing manuscripts of Old Norse mythology were written mainly by Christians, obscuring the pre-Christian oral histories. This book assembles comparisons from a range of analytical perspectives—examining the similarities and differences of the Old Norse mythologies with the myths of other cultures and within the Old Norse corpus itself.
The Singer of Tales: Third Edition
First published in 1960, The Singer of Tales remains the fundamental study of the distinctive techniques and aesthetics of oral epic poetry—from South Slavic epic songs to the Iliad, Odyssey, Beowulf and beyond. This edition offers a corrected text and is supplemented by an open-access website with audio recordings.
Wild Songs, Sweet Songs: The Albanian Epic in the Collections of Milman Parry and Albert B. Lord
Milman Parry and Albert B. Lord collected singularly important examples of Albanian epic song while conducting fieldwork in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and northern Albania. A complete catalogue of their collected materials, Wild Songs, Sweet Songs is an authoritative guide to one of the most significant collections of Balkan folk epic in existence.
Weathered Words: Formulaic Language and Verbal Art
Formulaic phraseology presents the epitome of words worn and weathered by trial and the tests of time. Weathered Words concentrates on verbal art, which makes Oral-Formulaic Theory (OFT) a major point of reference. Each of the eighteen essays gathered here brings particular aspects of formulaic language into focus.
Singers and Tales in the Twenty-First Century
Grounded in the legacies of two pioneering scholars of oral literature, Milman Parry and Albert Lord, Singers and Tales in the Twenty-First Century gathers essays on what the study of oral poetry means today across diverse traditions, especially in light of transformations that have dramatically reshaped and destabilized the notion of tradition.
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