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Journal Article

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International Folklore Review



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Folklore and literature are linked concepts, but so far no one theory has satisfactorily explained the nature of their relationship. Attempts have been made to establish the connection between them in terms of history, evolution, communication, and social systems. According to the historical approach, folklore consists of elementary forms which increase in formal and semantic complexity until they become literary genres.1 The Chadwicks stated a generally accepted position when they wrote that "written literature was derived in some form from this 'unwritten literature'."2 At the basis of this historical development are the dynamic laws of literature by which themes, genres, and structures advance from simple to complex patterns. Although human thoughts and emotions motivate creative writing, authors, seen in this way, are but the tools, the handmaidens of literature. The same themes repeat in different patterns, changing according to historical and social situations, yet retaining certain psychological and metaphysical elements that are as historical as they are inherent to man.

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Originally published in International Folklore Review © 1981 New Abbey Publications.


The publication in which this item appeared has since ceased.



Date Posted: 22 September 2017