Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Singer of Tales” as Want to Read:
The Singer of Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Singer of Tales

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  110 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews

This 40th anniversary edition of Albert Lord's classic work includes a unique enhancement: a CD containing the original audio recordings of all the passages of heroic songs quoted in the book; a video publication of the kinescopic filming of the most valued of the singers; and selected photographs taken during Milman Parry's collecting trips in the Balkans.

Parry began r

...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published March 1st 1981 by Harvard University Press (first published 1965)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Singer of Tales, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Singer of Tales

A Distant Mirror by Barbara W. TuchmanThe Histories by HerodotusJohn Adams by David McCullough1776 by David McCulloughThe Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
History as Literature
200th out of 425 books — 358 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyMatilda by Roald DahlThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Books about Books
301st out of 743 books — 1,183 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 332)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Bill
Mar 06, 2009 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oral-traditions
Albert Lord's work is a good follow-up to Milman Parry's work on oral traditions (The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry), but unfortunately Lord falls short of his mentor's insights and skills. The book is divided into two portions: Part 1, the theory, and Part 2, the application. I really enjoyed Part 1, and Lord's writing is very accessible and easy to read (which wasn't necessarily a good thing. Parry's work on the same subject required a lot more close, careful re ...more
Lada
Jul 30, 2014 Lada rated it it was amazing
The book presents the theory 1 and Practice 2I have already written a review on this fascinating book which cannot fail to leave readers without response. It is the book about how orality works, lives and transforms itself.It is not just literature but cultural anthropology. This is the first edition that came out in the sixties, the second one being in 2000 with a CD which recorded the living voice of the singer of Tales, Lord's and Parry's singer of tales, Avdo Medjedovic who was their Homer. ...more
Desclian
Extremely enjoyable if out-of-date. Any scholar of oral poetry will find this book enlightening in view of the modern discussions as many of them stem from or argue against this type of approach. Lord's system of formulas (phrases of set length with interchangeable parts to allow for varied sense) is fascinating, particularly when broadened to theme and construction of tales, but what has developed from 1960s has been, in my opinion, able to fill in many of the holes or details of Lord's theory. ...more
h
Aug 31, 2012 h rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a little dense (especially if you haven't any folkloric or classical background at all - sometimes i felt mine thoroughly insufficient). but an excellent read with solid writing.

and, further proving my theory that everything can be useful if you look at it from the right angle, i found the descriptions of oral epic composition to be *extremely* useful in terms of thinking about how to teach yoga. weird, but true.
David M.
Apr 20, 2012 David M. rated it really liked it
Does a good job providing a comprehensive background to the idea that oral poems have a textual structure, but, as some reviewers have pointed out, the book is some-what out of date (a copy of the Iliad will eliminate the need to read Lord's sections on Homer). Still, an interesting reed that will shed a new light on classics like Beowulf and the Song of Roland, and points one in the direction of the ninth or tenth century Byzantine poem "Digenes Akritas , the Two Blood Border Guard".
Aaron
Sep 04, 2014 Aaron rated it liked it
Shelves: media-studies
This is an interesting account of Lord and Parry's discovery that the Iliad and Odyssey were oral compositions, which is one of the greatest achievements of humanities scholarship in the past century, and laid the foundation for the media studies of Marshall McLuhan and Walter Ong. However, Lord sometimes gets bogged down in boring technical details.
Jossalyn
fascinating study of Oral Epic Poetry such as Homer's, using living oral poets in Yugoslavia to learn from. How oral poetry is composed, learned, studied, taught, performed; how different it is from poetry or songs of a literate society.
Thom Dunn
Essential for the student of early lit., Beowulf, Homer,Bible, OE poetry, etc.
Melissa
Melissa marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2016
Petar D
Petar D marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Muath Aziz
Muath Aziz marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
Elizabeth
Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2016
Marianne Mason Sievers
Marianne Mason Sievers marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2016
Katy
Katy marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
Pyang
Pyang rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2016
James
James rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2016
Ocianain
Ocianain rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2016
Liam Guilar
Liam Guilar rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2015
Grant Kemp
Grant Kemp rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2015
Ashley
Ashley marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2015
Guilherme
Guilherme rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2016
Jennifer Lynn
Jennifer Lynn marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2015
Bitty
Bitty added it
Dec 02, 2015
Graham O'Toole
Graham O'Toole is currently reading it
Nov 30, 2015
Jason Christopher
Jason Christopher marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2015
Michael
Michael marked it as to-read
Nov 08, 2015
Jess Hooks
Jess Hooks rated it really liked it
Oct 17, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Indo-European Poetry and Myth
  • Preface to Plato
  • The Gothic Image: Religious Art in France of the Thirteenth Century
  • Selections from the Carmina Burana: A New Verse Translation
  • Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word
  • Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburgh (College)
  • On Poetry
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
  • Patterns of Culture
  • Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times
  • The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea
  • The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World
  • The Western Illusion of Human Nature: With Reflections on the Long History of Hierarchy, Equality and the Sublimation of Anarchy in the West, and Comparative Notes on Other Conceptions of the Human Condition
  • An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon
  • From Memory to Written Record: England 1066 - 1307
  • The Price of My Soul
  • Teacher
  • Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist

Share This Book