More Best-Loved Stories Told at the National Storytelling Festival

National Association for Preservation &, Editor
National Association for Preservation &, Editor National Storytelling Network $14.95 (223p) ISBN 978-1-879991-08-8
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Hardcover - 223 pages - 978-1-879991-09-5
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Not surprisingly, these jubilant and entertaining tales beg to be read aloud. Some of the most successful pieces rework ancient stories to fit today's mores, such as the retelling of the myth of Medusa that tags Athena ``the leader of the Mount Olympus Moral Majority.'' The reverse also works well. An Israeli soldier's healing contact with another soldier through music and the backfiring of an attempt in 1965 to lure tourists to Selma, Ala., both provide opportunities for folk-tale patterns such as repetition and humor to convey thoroughly modern content. Ironically, some of the most relevant ideas are found in the oldest stories, such as the 2500-year-old Buddhist allegory about a parrot that carries a strong message about individual responsibility for the environment. A few pieces strike too hokey or moralistic a tone, and occasionally the treatment of women as decorative objects is so pronounced that it compromises the stories. On the whole, however, this is a balanced collection that mixes tales from many parts of the world. The storytellers include Peninnah Schram, Diane Wolkstein and Donald Davis. (Nov.)
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