Ballad worlds : structure, meaning, and the fictional landscapes in classical and broadside ballads in oral tradition

Moreira, James (1995) Ballad worlds : structure, meaning, and the fictional landscapes in classical and broadside ballads in oral tradition. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Taking as its source the notion of "the ballad world” as a recognizable generic construct, the study undertakes a comparative analysis of classical and broadside balladries by exploring the spatial structure of their respective fictional landscapes. It begins with a survey of the academic concept of genre, showing a transition from previous static applications to current usage that considers the dynamic interplay between expressive forms and their cultural environments. A generic distinction between classical and broadside ballads is validated on the grounds that their styles, whose differences are widely acknowledged, reveal orientations in different cultural milieux, one oral, the other literate. -- The study employs a radial model of spatial relationships, which enables the analysis of various strands of cultural and fictive space as both independent entities and interrelated wholes. Through regionally situated studies from Norway, Britain, and the eastern seaboard of Canada, the study suggests that the predominant metaphors of classical balladry are drawn from a cultural discourse about the relationship of humans to their natural environment, and reflect particularly a paradoxical nature that is both benevolent and destructive, while the spatial relations of broadsides reveal a far greater concern for the impact of social and bureaucratic structures on everyday life.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 5510
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [312]-343.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1995
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Ballads--History and criticism; Broadsides--History and criticism; Oral tradition

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