Composed over numerous many years, the essays listed below are remarkably clean and suitable. they provide guide for the scholar simply starting the examine of folklore in addition to repeated worth for the numerous demonstrated students who proceed to combat with concerns that Wilson has addressed. As his paintings has lengthy provided perception on serious matters—nationalism, style, trust, the connection of folklore to different disciplines within the humanities and humanities, the foreign money of legend, the importance of humor as a cultural expression, and so forth—so his contemporary writing, in its reflexive method of narrative and storytelling, illuminates today’s paradigms. Its impressive autobiographical measurement, lengthy a component of Wilson’s paintings, employs kin and native lore to attract conclusions of extra common value. in a different way to consider it's that more moderen folklorists are catching up with Wilson and what he has been approximately for it slow.
As a physique, Wilson’s essays enhance comparable subject matters and hooked up subject matters. This assortment organizes them in 3 coherent components. the 1st examines the significance of folklore—what it really is and its price in a number of contexts. half , drawing particularly at the adventure of Finland, considers the function of folklore in nationwide id, together with either the way it is helping outline and maintain identification and the fewer savory methods it can be used for the sake of nationalistic ideology. half 3, dependent largely on Wilson’s vast paintings in Mormon folklore, that is crucial in that region considering the fact that that of Austin and Alta Fife, seems at spiritual cultural expressions and outsider perceptions of them and, back, at how id is formed, through spiritual trust, adventure, and participation; via the tales approximately them; and via the numerous different expressive elements of lifestyles encountered day-by-day in a culture.
Each essay is brought through a widely known folklorist who discusses the impact of Wilson’s scholarship. those contain Richard Bauman, Margaret Brady, Simon Bronner, Elliott Oring, Henry Glassie, David Hufford, Michael Owen Jones, and Beverly Stoeltje.