Tag Archives: folklore

Malachy McCourt’s The Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh ring is a ring fronted by a crowned heart held in two hands; usually gold (although I have seen them in silver), it symbolizes “friendship, loyalty and love.” Irish in origin, it has a rich history in Irish … Continue reading

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Alex Irvine’s The “Supernatural” Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons, and Ghouls

I seem to be faced with another one of those television spin-offs, this time from the series Supernatural, about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who hunt demons and other nasty customers not entirely of this world. For those who, … Continue reading

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Steven Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

Steven Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars is a strangely deceptive novel. It seems, at first, fairly straightforward – a narrative about a group of artists trying to make it, interspersed with sections of a folk tale – … Continue reading

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Avram Davidson’s Adventures in Unhistory: Conjectures on the Factual Foundations of Several Ancient Legends

I have had the distinct pleasure through the years of being in line for a number of reissues and new editions of works by some of the great writers of the Golden Age of science fiction and fantasy. Maybe it’s … Continue reading

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Alex Vernon’s On Tarzan

Tarzan is one of those icons of popular culture that has taken on a resonance that runs from the personal to the mythic. One of the ironies that underlies Alex Vernon’s On Tarzan is that old question that I confront … Continue reading

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Laura Shamas’ We Three: The Mythology of Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters

Forest, trees: there is a certain brand of scholarship that tends to focus on minute examinations of trees in the attempt to discover a forest. I am the last to decry the idea of analyzing parts in the hope of … Continue reading

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Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice’s Greek Street: Cassandra Complex

I’m sure you’ve heard the song “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” from Kiss Me, Kate. Well, in the case of Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice’s Greek Street, it should go “Brush Up Your Aeschylus.” And Sophocles. And Euripides. Because you’re going … Continue reading

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Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice’s Greek Street: Blood Calls for Blood

Greek Street: Blood Calls for Blood is the first compilation of the individual numbers of the comic series. It offers another retelling of the Greek myths, translated to the seamy underbelly of a contemporary city — in this case, London’s … Continue reading

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Josepha Sherman and T.K.F. Weisskopf’s Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts: The Subversive Folklore of Childhood

Pamela Murray Winters contributed this review which ran first on Mostly Folk. It’s been 10 years since I bonded with my new office mate over the issue of a children’s song. It must have been a slow day in the … Continue reading

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Carl Rinsch: 47 Ronin

The story of the Forty-Seven Ronin is a very popular one in Japan, where it is known in its various forms as Chushingura. The historical events on which it is based took place at the beginning of the eighteenth century. … Continue reading

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Daithi Ó hÓgáin’s The Lore of Ireland: An Encyclopedia of Myth, Legend and Romance

The Lore of Ireland is a magical phrase, calling up images of heroic deeds and fey enchantments, bloody treachery and shining honor, great warriors, cold queens of the Sidhe, leprechauns, cattle raids, enchanted groves, bards, prophecies — it’s sobering to think … Continue reading

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Ron J. Suresha’s The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin

The subtitle calls The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin a collection of “stories, jests, and donkey tales of the beloved Persian folk hero.” Nasruddin, though, is more than simply Persian — he’s an avatar of the Wise Fool … Continue reading

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David W. Maurer’s Kentucky Moonshine and Col. Joe Nickell’s The Kentucky Mint Julep

Kentucky Moonshine “They call him the king of the mountain A Blue Ridge businessman He’s an independent contractor Doin’ the best that he can.” — King of the Mountain, Southern Culture on the Skids The late David W. Maurer, a … Continue reading

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Three books on American Indian folklore and mythology

Barre Toelken’s The Anguish Of Snails: Native American Folklore in the West Barre Toelken has spent much of the past half-century studying American Indian culture as an outsider on the inside. Adopted by a Navajo family who saved his life … Continue reading

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