The Oral Background of the Eddas and Sagas

The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, University of Iceland More than fifty years after the publication of The Singer of Tales the book and the ideas therein still serve as a fresh wind in the textually-oriented field of Old Norse Studies where very few have taken up the issue… Read more

Sappho, Cleon and Eros in Aristophanes’ Knights

About halfway through Aristophanes’ Knights, the play’s two main characters, the Paphlagonian and the Sausage-seller, call out to Demos, who emerges from his door: [1]           ΔΗΜΟΣ τίνες οἱ βοῶντες; οὐκ ἄπιτ᾽ ἀπὸ τῆς θύρας;           τὴν εἰρεσιώνην μου κατεσπαράξατε. 730    τίς, ὦ Παφλαγὼν, ἀδικεῖ σε;… Read more

The Morphology of Epiphany in Song 1 of Sappho

Introduction The epiphany of the goddess Aphrodite in Song 1 of Sappho may seem, from a modern perspective, paradoxical. On the one hand, if one considers epiphany to mean simply the appearance of a divinity, it is not difficult to identify the exact moment in which the song’s epiphany occurs;… Read more

Composition in Performance Arab Style

University of California, Santa Barbara For researchers who conduct ethnographic fieldwork on oral traditions, one of the most exciting aspects of The Singer of Tales is Albert Lord’s accounts of experimentation in the field, the various ways in which he and Milman Parry interrogated living traditions by comparing performances, setting… Read more