The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 319
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right, and Roy Bedichek. The book stresses the "two branches
of folklore that exist side by side in Texas, the English and the
Mexican." Of its fifteen pieces, seven articles may be classed as
"Anglo-Saxon," six articles and a poem as "Mexican," while
Stith Thompson's "Recollections of an Itinerant Folklorist" is
historical, theoretical, and cosmopolitan.
Thompson tells of the early days of the Texas Folklore Society,
of his association with John Lomax and others, and of the story
behind the editing of the Society's first publication, 'Round the
Levee (1916). Also described are Thompson's association with
patriarchial European folklorists and his effort to establish com-
munication between folklorists in South America and those of
Europe and the United States.
Theorizing, Thompson points out the four approaches to folk-
lore: collecting, presenting, theorizing, and classifying. To classify-
ing, says Thompson, "I have devoted a good part of my own life."
His life-long task is presented in his six-volume work, Motif-index
As Thompson says, "Dialogue in Folktale and Song," by R. C.
Stephenson, "is a good example of a theoretical approach to folk-
lore." In this essay, Stephenson stresses the importance of audi-
tory images in orally transmitted folktales and songs, as distin-
guished from visual and other more consciously literary images.
Among auditory images in dialogues are found emphatic repeti-
tion, parataxis, and dramatic irony. Stephenson urges further
analysis of the oral delivery of folk matter in order that "the
molecular structure of folktale style" may be arrived at.
Also in the vein of theory is the thorough study by Brownie
McNeil, "The Child Ballad in the Middle West and Lower Mis-
sissippi Valley." In tracing changes that occur in traditional Eng-
lish ballads in this region, McNeil statistically arrives at keys to
Middle Western American folk character. His own contribution
to types of changes is "the conversion of tragic elements into
comic and ridiculous situations." Also, he discovers that tradi-
tional ballads "most popular in the midregion deal with tragic
love." Further, traditional English ballads undergo most change,
fragmentation, and loss in American areas where subsistence farm-
ing is not practiced. On the western cattle range, "The Mermaid"
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/m1/377/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.