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Singers and Tales: Oral Tradition and the Roots of Literature (The Modern Scholar)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In this course, Professor Michael D. C. Drout traces literature back to its ultimate sources in oral tradition. Drout shows us how works as varied as the Odyssey, Beowulf, the Finnish Kalevala, and epic songs from the former Yugoslavia were shaped by their origins as songs sung - and composed - before a live audience. Understanding the oral roots of these great works lets ...more
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Published November 14th 2014 by Recorded Books
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Lance Eaton
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of Drout's work. This is his 8th or so Modern Scholar production and he's just a joy to listen to. He's always excited and engaged with the course he is presenting and he has many different asides that make it feel like each lecture is a conversation. This lecture series brings a lot of insight into oral tradition, what we assume about it, what it really is, and how it is different from and informs the written tradition. What's great about Drout is that he covers a good range of l ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
One of Drout's weaker lecture series. Plenty of enthusiasm for the topic, but not much in the way of actual substance.
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Typical Michael Drout. Even though I wasn't overly interested in the subject matter to begin with, he made it interesting and educated me.
This was a really good lecture series. My main wish is that it were longer and included a course guide so there was something to more easily reflect on; though, yes, it is appropriate to have an entirely oral presentation given the topic.

I've actually studied quite a bit that was covered in this series before (Homer, Beowulf, the Kalevala), but this gave me new insight and appreciation on the topic of oral tradition and orally composed poetry. I think my prior experience with these topics was ti
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I was just browsing the shelves at my local library when I found, “Singers and Tales: Oral Tradition and the Roots of Literature,” by Michael Drout. It just looked interesting and different enough to give it a try. It is part of the Modern Scholar series and consists of eight lectures.
Overall I enjoyed the lecture series. I was hoping for a little more detail and wanted the lectures to be longer. However, this is more of an intro, and the author does make several suggestions on where to go to l
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Another enjoyable lecture series from Modern Scholars. Drout is engaging in a way that inspires the listener to do something.
Great lectures and the lecturer is enthusiastic, I just wish it had been longer. Oral tradition deserves more attention!
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Michael D.C. Drout is a Professor of English at Wheaton College.

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