ELO Journal 11 / 12


“Nota Introdutória”, Isabel Cardigos

Depoimentos sobre Julio Camarena, Carlos González Sanz, José Manuel Pedrosa, Maxime Chevalier

Bibliografia de Julio Camarena

La Fille de Thalassa, Anna Angelopoulos

The Inheritance of the Prophets. II, The Life of Joseph: A Nest of Folktales, Julio Camarena Laucirica

Nationalism and Folk Poetry. Manuel Murguía and the Invention of an apocryfal Galician Ballad Book, Jesús-Antonio Cid

Monkey-Spouse sees Children Murdered, Escapes to Freedom! A Worldwide Gathering and Comparative Analysis of Camarena-Chevalier Type 714, II-IV Tales, Georges T. Dodds

Afuera, Afuera, Rodrigo: Uma Reinterpretação, Manuel da Costa Fontes

Remarks concerning the Type Catalogue of Spanish Folktales, José Fradejas Lebrero

A Dialogue with Fingers of an Anticlerical Subject, J. M. Fraile Gil

La Duplicitat d’Objectes Màgics a la História d’Aladdín i a una Rondalla d’Antoni M. Alcover, Josep A. Grimalt

Anthropophagy in Tale-Type AT 311, Manuela Katrinak

Variants and Invariants in Oral Literature, Bráulio do Nascimento

Towards a Theory of the Portuguese Joke, Carlos Nogueira

The Evolution of the Theme of The Grateful Dead in a Galician Version, Camiño Noia Campos

The First to See the Sunrise (ATU 120): a Folktale of Cleverness with an International Presence, Carme Oriol

Ogres, Witches, Vampires, Ghosts: the Logic of the Oponent versus the Logic of the Hero, José Manuel Pedrosa

Innovation, Persistence and Self-Correction: The Case of Snow White, Christine Shojaei Kawan

Poésies Populaires de la France: the Fortoul Collection of French Folk Songs (1853-1855), Michèle Simonsen



La Fille de Thalassa

Anna Angelopoulos

“The Daughter of the Sea”, a Mediterranean narrative of the oral tradition, tells the deeds of a marine deity who undergoes tests of humanization. This narrative (AT 898) forms the subtype of a well-known novelesque tale of Mediterranean origin, The Daughter of the Sun (AT 898*). In my opinion “The Daughter of the Sea” belongs to the novelesque tales because of its facetious and sometimes eschatological traits, typical of the Greek versions. In fact, the story begins with a scene in which an old woman throws a chamber pot full of excrements into the sea and it is this action that is going to provoke the appearance of the Daughter of the Sea, who remains dumb before her husband for many years.

On another track, I compare the Greek heroine to Dona Marinha, a mermaid issued out of the Book of Lineages of Count Dom Pedro (in the 1380’s). Dona Marinha is another representation of the Daughter of the Sea. Comparison between the two shows that the founder of the Marinho lineage is a maternal goddess, whereas the Greek Nereid remains childless. Both are walled inside a muteness that is typical of the daughters of the water. But the Daughter of the Sea remains untamable. She therefore recovers her speech when, after several tests imposed to her husband, he finally recognizes her supernatural ascendance.

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The Inheritance of the Prophets. II, The Life of Joseph: A Nest of Folktales

Julio Camarena Laucirica

This is the second of three articles on narratives of the Old Testament and the oral tradition. The first (ELO, 9-10) dealt with the story of Judah and Tamar and this second one is centered on the story of Joseph (both from the Book of Genesis). Attention is drawn to the duplication of narratives dealing with different figures (Rebecca and Rachel; Esau and Jacob; Joseph and Benjamin), as if versions of the same narrative were unfolded inside the biblical text itself. Biblical recurrence of the sympathy for the rights of the younger brother as opposed to the natural rights of the eldest is amply demonstrated. Two tales of the Iberian oral tradition are given as examples of the theme of the youngest brother, victimized by the jealousy of the elder siblings and vindicated in the end, so familiar in folktales and so close to the story of Joseph.

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Nationalism and Folk Poetry. Manuel Murguía and the Invention of an apocryfal Galician Ballad Book

Jesús-Antonio Cid

The anomalous situation of studies on Galician ballads, and the indefinition of its own status as a branch of the Hispanic balladry stem in the end from the changing attitudes taken for ideological reasons by the first Galician cultural nationalism towards oral narrative poetry. Manuel Murguía is considered today as the undisputed founding father of “galicianism”, for a few reasons: the amplitude and repercussion of his work, his longevity (1833-1923) and his role as the impeller and heir of Rosalía de Castro’s Galician poetry. A Galician nationalism fundamented in the historical and cultural tradition could not but give the highest importance to folk narrative poetry, as was also the case with the rest of Europe at the time. The fact was that very few examples were known in the 1860’s of Galician ballads, and they were all basically in Castillian. Balladry was therefore useless as a mark of national or regional identity. Murguía decided to turn the argument around: the non-existence of Galician ballads was the very proof of a definite differential trait in relation to Castille. Later awareness of Portuguese balladry together with an incipient exploration of Galician oral tradition brought the patriarch to assert a few years later not only the existence but also the splendor of Galician ballads with their own particular traits. These ballads turned out to be the product of mystification of various degrees carried out by Murguía himself and by other folklorists. In this paper we publish the first part of a study which will later be followed by a complete inventory and critical analysis of the pseudo Galician ballads mentioned by Murguía, but never published as a collection.

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Monkey-Spouse sees Children Murdered, Escapes to Freedom! A Worldwide Gathering and Comparative Analysis of Camarena-Chevalier Type 714, II-IV Tales

Georges T. Dodds

This is the first part of an article about a tale classified in Camarena and Chevalier’s catalogue of Spanish Folktales with a new number [714], as it does not appear in the international catalogues. It is the story of a woman abandoned in an uninhabited island and who is forced to become the wife of a big ape. When she is rescued by the crew of a passing ship, the ape kills their child before her eyes. The earliest written accounts of this narrative trace its source to “the Annals of Castanheda.”. The narrative, however, does not appear in Fernão Lopes de Castanheda’s only known History book in nine volumes (1551-1561). The story, however, appears in Portuguese oral tradition. An account is also given of the written (and oral) tradition of this narrative in Spain, Italy, France and England.

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Afuera, Afuera, Rodrigo: Uma Reinterpretação

Manuel da Costa Fontes

In the ballad Afuera, afuera, Rodrigo, princess Urraca scolds the Cid, from the walls of Zamora, for his participation in the siege that King Sancho had laid to her city. This ballad has been interpreted as a mere quarrel among ex-lovers, but the bad reputation of the princess and the use of words whose double meaning was common at the time suggests another possible meaning. The princess is placed on a turret that is deliberately sexualized, since it is a “torre mocha” (without a spiral); she reminds the Cid that she had helped to arm him as a “caballero” by putting on his “spurs” and accuses him of forgetting that she loved him, choosing to marry Ximena Gómez instead. Timoneda’s version intercalates here two verses that show how much these words bother the hero, who replies to the princess that, if she would like, he is ready to undo the marriage, i.e., to go to bed with her. Urraca accepts the proposal immediately. With great anguish (in Timoneda’s version), the Cid tells the men in his detachment to leave at once. Although the arrow fired against him lacked an iron tip, it had pierced his heart, and so he had no choice but to live always “in pain”. In had words, he had an urgent need to be alone with the princess [note that the word “pena” (‘pain’; ‘pen’) was frequently used in a phallic sense].

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Remarks concerning the Type Catalogue of Spanish Folktales

José Fradejas Lebrero

I propose to thank Julio Camarena’s life of excellent work and apologize for not having published earlier these notes about three tale types among those I gathered most literary versions of. Type 63: I offer six versions – in prose and verse – from the XVI-XX centuries; type 110: I add to those used by Baum (1919) and by myself (1981); type 155A: I explain the possible correction of this type and the divergence of sources, sometimes appearing on the same author of the sixteenth century.

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A Dialogue with Fingers of an Anticlerical Subject

J. M. Fraile Gil

In Spain, the collective memory preserved a dialogued text of anticlerical nature whose style very genuine and traditional. It is a children’s game which, with a seeming naivety, converts into the actors the thumb, the big and the little fingers of one’s own hand. Those three fingers represent a lascivious priest, a lady (whom he visits and who accepts his favors) and a maid, who protests against those meetings trying to save her master’s honor. In a manuscript of the second decade of the seventeenth century, there is a long text (with indications at the beginning showing that it should be sung), which presents the same subject and the same characters of the children’s game. So once more did oral tradition save from oblivion a literary work which, conveniently transformed and reduced to its bare bones, reached us inside the wide and heterogenous world of oral literature for children’s use.

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La Duplicitat d’Objectes Màgics a la História d’Aladdín i a una Rondalla d’Antoni M. Alcover

Josep A. Grimalt

The story of Alladin such as it appears in many editions of the Thousand and One Nights, entails a particularity that differentiates it from the laws of economy of the folktale, in relation to which it becomes rather incoherent. It is the presence of two magical objects with unlimited powers: the ring and the lamp. The versions of the tale that we find in The Thousand and One Nights are very literary but we can recognize in their contents type AT 561. Galland’s version, from which all other versions might have derived – procedes from Hanna Diab, who gave it a written rendering. One version of that type, collected by Antoni M. Alcover from Majorcan oral tradition, has also a doubling of magic objects. Charlotte R. Long saw in the first episode of Alladin’s tale the trace of a theft from an Egyptian tomb; in Alcover’s version, inside the cavern where the hero finds the lamp there is a corpse, a rather intriguing detail.

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Anthropophagy in Tale-Type AT 311

Manuela Katrinak

The folktale of the “Three sisters rescued from the ogre” (AT 311) is known throughout Europe where it appears in two narrative forms: the first (spread in southeastern Europe, the Slavic countries and perchance in the rest of the Mediterranean), the heroine is given by her parents to an ogre and she later needs to perform a cannibalistic act in order to marry the ogre and manage to save her sisters. In the second narrative form, predominant in the northern and western countries, the motif of anthropophagy is replaced by that of the prohibition to enter a room. Greek tradition, which prefers the cannibalistic test, is dealt with here as the basis for examining the function and the meaning of anthropophagy in this folktale. We try to examine through the multitude of Greek-speaking versions the proposal that the problematic of this folktale have to do with perception of sexuality and feminine maturity. The cannibalistic test turns out to be a test which qualifies the heroine as worth the status of a married woman, that is to say as worth the destiny of the heroes and heroines of the marvelous tale.

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Variants and Invariants in Oral Literature

Bráulio do Nascimento

The redefinition of variant is a theme present throughout the studies in oral literature. One needs to think or rethink this concept to arrive at a qualification and specification of its real functions in the oral text. The author refers to some proposals already formulated, in order to put in perspective the problem of variant which needs to be consensual. There is still no unanimity in the distinction between the different ways a given folktale or ballad is brought forth and the differentiating elements of its text at the level of discourse. The same denomination of variant is given to different phenomena, causing ambiguities in the study and analysis of oral texts, made worse for the contradictory notion of variant as a preserving element of the invariant narrative. The author’s contribution goes towards the qualification of variant, underlining the adoption of the differentiating denominations of version and variant, established since the beginning of the twentieth century.

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Towards a Theory of the Portuguese Joke

Carlos Nogueira

The short joke –that wandering and volatile object par excellence– embodies perhaps the genre of discourse through which a community (a concept becoming as it is known more and more enlarged) is at its readiest and most dynamic at commenting the meanings of the multiple phenomena – ethical, cultural, philosophical, pragmatic, etc.– with which it again and again confronts and (re)reconstructs itself. Whilst operating, before anything else, in terms of a playful conception of life, the short joke stretches itself through multiple and versatile con-formations of typological, tropological and topological nature.

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The Evolution of the Theme of The Grateful Dead in a Galician Version

Camiño Noia Campos

In this article we analyze the only version of folktale type AT 505 (The Grateful Dead) registered in Galician language, and compare it with the Portuguese version collected by Maria Leonor Buesco in Monsanto da Beira (Portugal). This study first introduces the plots of both folktales (together with that of the written source of the tale in The Book of Tobias) and then deals with the figure of the dead man as a characterizing trait of the Galician folktale. This figure is represented by an apparition of the Other World who comes in search of who will pay his debts so that he may obtain eternal salvation. We mention the characteristics of the dead who return from Purgatory, known as apparitions, and of the responsibility of the Church as producer of beliefs about the dead who need help from the living in order to get into Paradise. In the last part of this article we deal with the relationship between the oral and written, exemplifying the argument with the path taken by the Galician folktale.

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The First to See the Sunrise (ATU 120): a Folktale of Cleverness with an International Presence

Carme Oriol

The aim of this article is to investigate the origins and the international presence of the folktale type ATU 120. Taking versions published in different countries, we make a comparative study of the folktale that takes into account aspects such as the form, the contents, the function and the way in which it appears combined with other folktale types. We also bring to light the parallelism between this folktale and other similar tales that do not appear in the international catalogue of folktale types.

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Ogres, Witches, Vampires, Ghosts: the Logic of the Oponent versus the Logic of the Hero

José Manuel Pedrosa

The opponent is the key figure in all the folktales of the marvelous, novelesque, stupid ogre genres, etc. It is a character with traits that are both opposite and complementary to those of the hero and the helper. They entail oppositions of species (animal or savage / human), of gender (man / woman), of age (young / old), of capacities (not a magician / magician), etc. which articulate the relationships between the three basic types of characters in a way that, seen as a whole, seems to adjust itself to a very logical and well defined grammar.

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Innovation, Persistence and Self-Correction: The Case of Snow White

Christine Shojaei Kawan

Snow White is one of the most widely known tales, made world famous by the Grimm brothers and later by Walt Disney. At the same time, the Snow White tale type is represented by a comprehensive international corpus of folktales with independent traits.

Since the first manuscript version (1808) up to the second edition of their Household Tales (1819), the Grimm brothers made significant modifications of their tale concerning, most notably, the figure of the antagonist, the expulsion episode and the resuscitation. If the heroine they presented to the public, a girl “as white as snow, as red as blood and as black as ebony”, is not an entirely new creation, it was through the impact of the Grimm collection that this type of beauty became a stock picture in fairy tale imagery.

At the same time, considering the overwhelming success of the Grimms’ Snow White tale, it is remarkable that so many folk variants remained uninfluenced by the Grimm tradition. A striking example is the episode of the prince’s mourning for the beautiful maiden which has remained a typical feature of folk variants although the Grimms, who had adopted it for their first edition (1812), omitted it in the second one, introducing instead the now well-known quick solution by accident.

Snow White also offers an opportunity to reconsider Walter Anderson’s concept of self-correction, formulated in the 1920s, from a long-term perspective: apparently, inherent conceptions are corrected over and over again when they have been altered, as shown by the rendering of the wood house episode in the folk variants and in more recent derivatives of the book tale (and/or Disney) tradition (jokes, films, parodies). Traits that appear to be innovative may thus in fact be traditional.

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Poésies Populaires de la France: the Fortoul Collection of French Folk Songs (1853-1855)

Michèle Simonsen

In 1852, on the orders of future emperor Napoleon III, the French Minister for Public Education Hyppolyte Fortoul launched an official national campaign for the collecting of french folk songs, to be published as a “monument” to France’s history in a national-romantic spirit. The collecting was very centralistically organised, and accompanied with a lenghty guideline by Jean-Jacques Ampère for the collecting of texts and M. Vincent for the notation of melodies. As a result of this campaign, a great number og songs were sent to the ministry, many of them together with musical notations and contextual information. This huge material was never published as a whole, and is now to be found in the manuscripts department of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris: Poésies populaires de la France. The Fortoul collection, whatever its shortcomings, constitutes a precious source of empirical material and, together with the guiding Instructions, presents an immense interest for the history of traditional song research in France. It certainly deserves to be the object of an extensive scholarly study.

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