Editor's Column

John Miles Foley
1989 Oral Tradition  
With the present double issue (volume 3, numbers i-ii), Oral Tradition returns to the format of a miscellany, that is, of a collection of essays on a wide selection of traditions intended to familiarize specialists with parallel or analogous developments outside of their home areas. The next number (3, iii) will be a special issue, edited by Issa Boullata, on Arabic oral traditions, and will include twelve essays by eminent scholars from the Near East, Europe, and the United States. In the
more » ... States. In the fourth year of its existence, OT will feature essays on Italian lullabies, African praise poetry, the musical background of Romanian oral narrative, Central Asian epic, and numerous other subjects; part of one number will also be devoted to translations of core writings by Marcel Jousse, V. V. Radlov, and Matija Murko, all scholars who were important infl uences on Milman Parry and the evolution of the oral theory. Within these pages the reader will fi nd the second and concluding installments of two state-of-the-art, or survey, essays: Mark Edwards on ancient Greek and Alexandra Hennessey Olsen on Old English (see, respectively, OT 1, ii:171-230 and 1, iii: 548-606 for the initial sections). Similarly, Brynley Roberts, Librarian at Aberystwyth, offers a thorough account of oral traditional studies in Welsh. In addition to these three surveys, the present issue offers three analytical essays. Olga Davidson probes the formulaic structure of the Persian Shâhnâma of Ferdowsi, Richard Swiderski considers the interdependency of orality and literacy in a south Indian tradition, and Victor Mair looks at the impact of the Buddhist storytelling tradition on the development of written vernacular literature in Chinese. The annotated bibliography of research and scholarship, which follows the six essays, now extends through 1985. It has profi ted from the readership's suggestions and contributions, but we continue to ask for your assistance in making this research tool as useful as possible. Please send OT two copies of all relevant
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