Allegorical speculation in an oral society: the Tabwa by Robert Cancel

By Robert Cancel

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Extra resources for Allegorical speculation in an oral society: the Tabwa narrative tradition

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The initial compact episodes compare hero and suitors. As tbe expansible image is repeated. as tbe monitor lizard inches down the tree, the hero is shown to he the clevere~t of aJI t~ ~n i ro~ . he chiers daughter. There is no dimension of communal resolution, as was established in NPI by the lizard's insolence. Instead. for unspecified reasons, a chief desires a monitor lizard. The connections of suitor's pattern and hero's trick are preserved. he means of resolution. 3l This step usually signifies thst lhc husbsnd has fulfilled his oblig;nions of service to his in·laws and can move elsewhere if he chooses.

M. K. M. Place: Muktupa Katandula Audience: 2 adults and 4 children I will tell a IIL•himi. I am W . M. K. Kingfred. I live at Sllilonde, and the headman is Mr. Sllilonde. There was a. little thing. People lived in a great village just as we do now. " They said. "No. " So all the people came there; they went. " No, they couldn't, they failed. here. Now anolher young man carne; he came wilh a cow and a dog, witb ub>va/£ and sofl grass. So, he set out there, he stanevali to tbe cow.

Images that do not l:it into the plot progression are distracting. Aristotle remarked on irrelevant images in a plot: "a thing whose presence or absence makes no visible difference. is not an organic pan of lhe whole" (Butcher 1951: 35). To suppon whatever message underlies it. a plot must move toward formal and literal hannony; it develops its structure in inverse or pataUcl symmetry. mon. Kenan, Narrarive Ficri()n: C()nlempor(J;ry Poetics (1983); it excellently details the ~ncmu of narrative srudy arxJ includes a strong annotated bibliography.

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