Lowbrow Skepticism or Highbrow Rationalism? (Anti)Legends in 19th-Century Croatian Primers
Pučki skepticizam ili elitni racionalizam? (Anti)predaje u hrvatskim početnicama 19. stoljeća
The article discusses one of the numerous intersections of orality and literacy in the long 19th century in Croatian society. More specifically, it focuses on the orality of Croatian primers published from 1779 until the start of World War I and the issue of the primers’ implementation of narratives which are today considered characteristic of oral communication and labeled as pseudo-, negative-, anti-legends (Dégh & Vázsonyi 1976). Looking into the issue of marginality of (anti)legends in the folklore collections and folkloristic research, and after discussing differences and similarities between (anti)legends published in primers and documented in folklore collections of this and the following period, the article discusses the question of whether their inclusion in long 19th century Croatian primers was the implementation of lowbrow skepticism or the intrusion of highbrow rationalism, or both.
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