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Epistolary Fiction in Europe 1500-1850

Epistolary Fiction in Europe 1500-1850 COMPARATIVE LITERATURE /256 heroes in general. The discussion is often illuminating: for example, the discussion of the divine king (pp. 63-75), or of the marginalization of royal women in Benin (pp. 126-34). But while the project’s inspiration is sound, the execution leaves some questions. As noted above, Okpewho does not give a complete picture of the social or functional context of the narratives. He does not relate them to other local genres, and he does not identify the typical occasions or circumstances under which the narratives would be performed. One or two of his performers are experienced semiprofessionals, who have competed in regional story-telling competitions; one is an educated second-wife, whose performance experience seems to be mostly as part of a chorus. The qualitative difference between her story and the others is noticeable: it is unilinear, where many of the other tales are structurally more complex (in fact, there seems a strong possibility that her story was solicited and included largely to ensure female representation, although Okpewho claims to have recorded tales from other women [p. 141]). Questions of the local apprehension of the narratives and their weight as historical or imaginary documents are not clearly addressed, although http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Epistolary Fiction in Europe 1500-1850

Comparative Literature , Volume 52 (3) – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-52-3-259
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE /256 heroes in general. The discussion is often illuminating: for example, the discussion of the divine king (pp. 63-75), or of the marginalization of royal women in Benin (pp. 126-34). But while the project’s inspiration is sound, the execution leaves some questions. As noted above, Okpewho does not give a complete picture of the social or functional context of the narratives. He does not relate them to other local genres, and he does not identify the typical occasions or circumstances under which the narratives would be performed. One or two of his performers are experienced semiprofessionals, who have competed in regional story-telling competitions; one is an educated second-wife, whose performance experience seems to be mostly as part of a chorus. The qualitative difference between her story and the others is noticeable: it is unilinear, where many of the other tales are structurally more complex (in fact, there seems a strong possibility that her story was solicited and included largely to ensure female representation, although Okpewho claims to have recorded tales from other women [p. 141]). Questions of the local apprehension of the narratives and their weight as historical or imaginary documents are not clearly addressed, although

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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