An Anthology of American Folktales and Legends by ProQuest


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									23695_09_399-436_r3bj.qxp          11/20/09        11:22 AM        Page 399

                     REVIEWS                                                                       1
           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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