Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about the memorate genre with help from scholars Carl W. von Sydow, Lauri Honko, Diane Goldstein, and others, helping you analyse a memorate, and discussing ways to bring memorates to your story craft.
Folkloric Definition of Memorate
Swedish folklore scholar Carl W. von Sydow coined the term "memorate," which he defined as a personal experience narrative that often includes an encounter with a supernatural being (Dundes 1999, chap. 16). However, folklore scholars have since expanded the definition to include any first person narrative that includes a supernatural component. So if you see a ghost and tell someone about it, you're telling a memorate. If you have a premonition...
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'll be writing about the myth genre with help from scholars Alan Dundes, William Bascom, and others, helping you analyse a myth, and discussing ways to bring myth to your story craft.
Folkloric Definition of Myth
In his 1984 introduction to Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth, folklorist Alan Dundes provides the simpler of the two definitions I'm including here. He writes that "A myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and man came to be in their present form (Dundes 1984, 1)." Well and good, but I think we need a bit more than that if we want to utilize myth in our writing.
William Bascom's 1965 article "The Forms of Folklore: Prose Narratives" offers...more
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'll be introducing you to folklore genres with help from scholars Alan Dundes and others, discussing how the concept of genre can be both helpful and problematic, detailing a few ways to classify genres, and showing you how to use this information as a writer.
What is folklore?
In 1846, British writer William Thoms coined the word "folk-lore" in a letter written under the pseudonym Ambrose Merton to a literary magazine called The Athenaeum. Thoms contributed little else to folkloristics, but because he gave the discipline its name, we remember him for it. Indeed, he would not have had it any other way. Alan Dundes writes that among other self-congratulatory gestures, he was given...more
Welcome to Folklore & Fiction, the Internet home of scholar and author Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran | C.S. MacCath. I'm a PhD student of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the author of two collections of short fiction and poetry. Folklore & Fiction replaces the old C.S. MacCath website but contains all of the original content thanks to the phenomenal web development skills of my beloved husband and business partner, Sean, who built and themed what you see here.
Some things to know:
First and foremost, the Folklore & Fiction newsletter will launch tomorrow with "An Introduction to Folklore Genres." The focus of this newsletter is folkloric scholarship for writers, and it will be published on the first Folklore Thursday (#FolkloreThursday) of the month except in June and December, when I'll send subscribers an update on my publishing activities. These updates will go out on the summer and winter solstices. ...more