Assembled here are seventy-eight stories from six of the "ballad-singingest, tale-tellingest" residents of the eastern Kentucky mountain country. Based on stories rooted in European traditions from German fairy tales to Irish hero stories to Greek myths, the tales had been handed down through generations of telling before Marie Campbell collected them in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Readers will recognize the story of Snow White in "A Stepchild That Was Treated Mighty Bad," while "Three Shirts and a Golden Finger Ring" recalls the fairy tale of the Seven Swans. "The Fellow That Married A Dozen Times" is a lively rendition of "Bluebeard." As the narrators cautioned Marie Campbell again and again, "Tale-telling is nigh about faded out in the mountain country," but "Tales from the Cloud Walking Country" offers a lasting record of history, cultural heritage, language, and good old-fashioned fun.
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(216mm x 139mm x 23mm)
University of Georgia Press
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Seventy-eight stories recorded by the collector from the oral tradition of Kentucky between the years 1926 and 1934. Although these stories are rich in language and attitude indigenous to the Kentucky mountain people, they also vividly illustrate the ties of that culture to an older folk literature, namely, European. To a great extent these are fairly-tales and will be familiar to the readers of Grimm, Andersen, etc. On occasion there are even specifically European heroes - Einn, Cuchulain, etc. In this volume Marie Campbell has transcribed the narrative of six master tale-tellers, and has, where possible, included their comments as to the origin of the stories and their feelings about them. As often as not duplication in the stories occur, but this only serves to highlight the spontaneous character of the oral tradition. To a large extent these stories are suitable for children, though in certain cases they embrace issues generally considered taboo. And although the general adult reader may find here much that is charming, Tales From the Cloud Walking Country is most properly recommended to the folk lore enthusiast; the student of Americana, and the reader who delights in unmannered, earthy whimsy. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Marie Campbell
Marie Campbell was a teacher and folklorist who, between 1926 and 1934, lived, worked, and traveled the eastern Kentucky mountains. She is also the author of "Folks Do Get Born."