Inclinate aurem: Oral Perspectives on Early European Verbal Culture
Jan Helldén, Minna Skafte Jensen & Thomas Petitt (eds.)
University Press of Southern Denmark, 2001.
Growing awareness that the domination of writing and the printed book has been merely a
phase in Western cultural history, a "Gutenberg hiatus" that is now coming to an end, has
prompted increased scholarly interest in the oral cultures and subcultures that persisted
alongside or within he literate/literary mainstream.
This collection of specially commisioned studies by scholars from the University of Southern
Denmark and distinguished guests from Europe and North America comprises six essays dealing
directly with oral aspects of the verbal culture of classical and medieval Europe, from Homeric
tradition (Jan Helldén and Gregory Nagy), trough Old English and Old Norse poetry (John Miles
Foley and Lars Lönnroth), to late-medieval religious texts (Ninna Jørgensen and Ann Moss),
together with two essays examining living oral traditions from more recent periods: Inuit
storytelling in Greenland (Kirsten Thisted); Turkic epics (Karl Reichl), and one linking
the two approaches by exploring the premodern antecedents of modern legends (Henrik Lassen).
Introductory remarks on approaches to orality by Thomas Pettitt.
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