[...] most importantly, unlike Carl Lindahl's American Folktales from the Library of Congress (2004), which focuses on taletellers and orality, this collection is compiled exclusively from pre -published narratives drawn from folklore journals and book-length collections. [...] stories vary from careful transcriptions of stories told by master narrators, to literary embellishments, to fragmentary references.
23695_09_399-436_r3bj.qxp 11/20/09 11:22 AM Page 399 REVIEWS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 An Anthology of American Folktales and Legends. Edited by Frank de Caro. 11 Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2009. 358 pp. 12 As Frank de Caro, professor emeritus in English at Louisiana State Univer- 13 sity, states in his preface, he set out “to present authentic, authoritative texts 14 that have been recorded by collectors concerned with ethnographic accuracy” 15 (xv). This comprehensive collection expands the diversity of the American sto- 16 rytelling canon while combining two important narrative genres in a single 17 volume. 18 This Anthology of American Folktales and Legends differs from recent com- 19 prehensive collections in notable ways. While most folklore collections con- 20 centrate on either folktales or legends, here they are combined under the same 21 cover. Unlike Tom Green’s impressive Greenwood Library of American Folktales 22 (2006), which is organized by American regions, this collection is, for the most 23 part, organized thematically. Finally, and most importantly, unlike Carl Lindahl’s 24 American Folktales from the Library of Congress (2004), which focuses on tale- 25 tellers and orality, this collection is compiled exclusively from pre-published 26 narratives drawn from folklore journals and book-length collections. Written 27 sources date from 1898 to 2004, and while some of the selections originated 28 from ﬁeld work, others were reprinted from sources such as newspapers and 29 the Federal Writers Project. Consequently, stories vary from careful tran- 30 scriptions of stories told by master narrators, to literary embellishments, to 31 fragmentary references. 32 Both geographically and temporally, the
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