Singing the Past
by Karl Reichl
Oral epic poetry is still performed by Turkic singers in Central Asia. On trips to the region, Karl Reichl collected heroic poems from the Uzbek, Kazakh, and Karakalpak oral traditions. Through a close analysis of these Turkic works, he shows that they are typologically similar to heroic poetry in Old English, Old High German, and Old French and that they can offer scholar...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 29th 2000 by Cornell University Press
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Aug 16, 2007 Carl rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Students of the European Middle Ages, Epic, comparative studies in orality, etc.
This book was recommended to me by my late professor Nick Howe, and was probably my first major exposure to comparative study of oral culture. It's been a while, so my memory isn't that sharp at the moment, but in general it is a parallel discussion of the oral epic in Kazakhstan (I think-- could have been over a broader area) and the question of orality in Medieval literature, as well as the question of the existence of epic in Medieval Europe. Much of his speculation involves the role of genre...more