Western Folklore

Vol. 74 No. 3/4 – Summer/Fall, 2015


Rethinking Psychoanalysis, Poetics, and Performance
Charles L. Briggs

ABSTRACT: This essay bridges a longstanding divide between approaches rooted in psychoanalysis versus those associated with poetics and performance. Attending to Freud’s location of poetics at the heart of psychic processes emerging in jokes and dreams, it incorporates the work of later psychoanalysts—Melanie Klein, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, and Jean Laplanche—in building a new psychoanalytic folkloristics. Juxtaposing Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia” with research on laments, it reflects on a Venezuelan rabies epidemic, suggesting how poetic, acoustic, referential, material, and bodily elements of laments intersect in ways that do not fit models of folklore as unconscious and enigmatic, or as reflexive and strategic. KEYWORDS: psychoanalysis; laments; epidemics; poetics; performance

Devil Dogs and Dog Piles
John Paul Wallis and Jay Mechling

ABSTRACT: Rough-and-tumble (R&T) playfighting among warriors in combat zones poses many paradoxes of play, illustrating well Bateson’s understandings of the play frame. Using veterans’ memoirs, journalists’ accounts, photographic evidence, and the experiences of the first author as a Marine in Iraq, this essay explores the meanings and functions of R&T playfighting among male warriors in combat zones. KEYWORDS: play, military, men, homoerotic, PTSD

Shadows of the Past in the Sunshine State: St. Augustine Ghost Lore and Tourism
Jason Marc Harris

ABSTRACT: Ghost lore in St. Augustine, Florida, derives from a local legacy of colonial violence, natural disasters, ethnic tensions, and socioeconomic pressures. Tour guides, who are also raconteurs of their own personal belief legends, demonstrate that ghost tourism in St. Augustine is not exclusively a mercantile exploitation of local legends. The industry’s success has not superseded or replaced legend-telling, particularly among female students at Flagler College, who experience a dormitory initiation into the ghost legends of Ponce Hall. KEYWORDS: folklore, legend, ghost lore, ghost tourism

The Festivities of the Winter Solstice: Songs and Customs of the Valencian Community
José-María Esteve-Faubel and Rosa-Pilar Esteve-Faubel

ABSTRACT: The Christmas period is probably one of the richest seasons as far as popular tradition in Spain. This study collects, analyzes, and classifies the testimonies of people about the experiences that have shaped the winter solstice historically. Discussion and conclusions reflect the importance of this form of cultural expression, which has been adopted by most of the Christian world in celebration of these holidays. KEYWORDS: Christmas, Advent-Epiphany festivities, Carol, Christmas songs


Anika Wilson, Folklore, Gender, and AIDS in Malawi:No Secret Under the Sun.
Reviewed by Erika Brady

Jon D. Lee, An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease.
Reviewed by Anika Wilson

Dale A. Olsen, World Flutelore. Folktales, Myths, and Other Stories of Magical Flute Power.
Reviewed by Nancy Cassell Mcentire

Timothy R. Tangherlini, Danish Folktales, Legends, and Other Stories.
Reviewed by Gregory Hansen

Erika Friedl, Folktales and Storytellers of Iran: Culture, Ethos, and Identity.
Reviewed by Karen Miller

Molly Clark Hillard, Spellbound: The Fairy Tale and the Victorians.
Reviewed by Jennifer Schacker

Vanessa Joosen and Gillian Lathey, Grimms' Tales aroundthe Globe: The Dynamics of Their International Reception.
Reviewed by Jing Li

Mustafa Kemal Mirzeler, Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro: African Storytellers of the Karamoja Plateau and the Plains of Turkana.
Reviewed by Robert Cancel

David Atkinson, The Anglo-Scottish Ballad and its Imaginary Contexts.
Reviewed by Mary Ellen Brown

Tova Gamliel, Aesthetics of Sorrow: The Wailing Culture of Yemenite Jewish Women.
Reviewed by Najwa Adra

Hershey H. Friedman and Linda Weiser Friedman, God Laughed: Sources of Jewish Humor.
Reviewed by Elliott Oring

Deborah Kapchan, Cultural Heritage in Transit: Intangible Rights as Human Rights.
Reviewed by Leah Lowthorp

S. Ashley Kistler, Maya Market Women: Power and Tradition in San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala.
Reviewed by Janferie Stone

LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant, Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women.
Reviewed by Constance Bailey

Pauline Greenhill and Diane Tye, Unsettling Assumptions: Tradition, Gender, Drag.
Reviewed by Eleanor Hasken