Folk tradition, literature, and a society in transition : Newfoundland

Byrne, Pat (1994) Folk tradition, literature, and a society in transition : Newfoundland. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the ways in which the folk tradition was perceived and presented by selected twentieth-century Newfoundland authors during the period in which an indigenous literature was developing on the Island, and it argues that, because Newfoundland also witnessed sweeping political, economic and cultural changes during the decades between 1920 and 1970, various conceptions of the worldview, communicative structures, and other expressive forms of the folk tradition provided writers with a means of addressing the anxieties and uncertainties which accompanied the society's transition from a traditional to a modern one. In order to create a framework for the study, Chapter One provides a general overview of the scholarship on the interrelationships between the verbal and written arts in general, and between folklore and literature in particular, and argues that an understanding of this interrelationship is facilitated by the view which sees folklore as the result of repeated patterns and processes and not simply as items or texts. Chapter Two discusses the notion of the folk culture as an intellectual construction in historical and scholarly perspective as related to folkloristics generally, discusses the notion specifically in terms of the Newfoundland context, and advances the concept of a regional mythology as a notion less susceptible to high cultural bias because it evolves as a product of both the folk and literate traditions. Chapter Three presents an overview of the socio-political forces that moulded the evolving Newfoundland society which formed the background against which the indigenous literature developed, and provides a survey of the Island's literary history to 1920. Chapters Four and Five discuss the different responses to the folk tradition in the works of writers who published between 1920 and 1970, and Chapter Five suggests, as a basis for further study, that, once an indigenous literature was fully established, the uses made of the folk tradition by the literate culture were radically different from those which had marked the period during which an indigenous literature was developing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/948
Item ID: 948
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 424-528
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1994
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Literature and folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador; Oral tradition--Newfoundland and Labrador; Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland and Labrador in literature

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