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This teeming compendium of tales assembles and classifies the abundant lore and storytelling prevalent in the French culture of southern Louisiana. This is the largest, most diverse, and best annotated collection of French-language tales ever published in the United States. Side by side are dual-language retellings--the Cajun French and its English translation--along with This teeming compendium of tales assembles and classifies the abundant lore and storytelling prevalent in the French culture of southern Louisiana. This is the largest, most diverse, and best annotated collection of French-language tales ever published in the United States. Side by side are dual-language retellings--the Cajun French and its English translation--along with insightful commentaries. This volume reveals the long and lively heritage of the Louisiana folktale among French Creoles and Cajuns and shows how tale-telling in Louisiana through the years has remained vigorous and constantly changing. Some of the best storytellers of the present day are highlighted in biographical sketches and are identified by some of their best tales. Their repertory includes animal stories, magic stories, jokes, tall tales, Pascal (improvised) stories, and legendary tales--all of them colorful examples of Louisiana narrative at its best. Though greatly transformed since the French arrived on southern soil, the French oral tradition is alive and flourishing today. It is even more complex and varied than has been shown in previous studies, for revealed here are African influences as well as others that have been filtered from America's multicultural mainstream.


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This teeming compendium of tales assembles and classifies the abundant lore and storytelling prevalent in the French culture of southern Louisiana. This is the largest, most diverse, and best annotated collection of French-language tales ever published in the United States. Side by side are dual-language retellings--the Cajun French and its English translation--along with This teeming compendium of tales assembles and classifies the abundant lore and storytelling prevalent in the French culture of southern Louisiana. This is the largest, most diverse, and best annotated collection of French-language tales ever published in the United States. Side by side are dual-language retellings--the Cajun French and its English translation--along with insightful commentaries. This volume reveals the long and lively heritage of the Louisiana folktale among French Creoles and Cajuns and shows how tale-telling in Louisiana through the years has remained vigorous and constantly changing. Some of the best storytellers of the present day are highlighted in biographical sketches and are identified by some of their best tales. Their repertory includes animal stories, magic stories, jokes, tall tales, Pascal (improvised) stories, and legendary tales--all of them colorful examples of Louisiana narrative at its best. Though greatly transformed since the French arrived on southern soil, the French oral tradition is alive and flourishing today. It is even more complex and varied than has been shown in previous studies, for revealed here are African influences as well as others that have been filtered from America's multicultural mainstream.

51 review for Cajun and Creole Folktales

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andy Mirs

    This book is more suited to the folklorist or student of folklore than to casual reading. The stories are presented in the original Cajun or Creole French with a side by side English translation. The author has classified the tales using the Aarne/Thompson tale type index (plus Baughman, Klipple & others), allowing easy comparison to similar tales. The tales are word for word transcriptions as the storyteller originally delivered them, so they are often marred by imperfections (like explaining t This book is more suited to the folklorist or student of folklore than to casual reading. The stories are presented in the original Cajun or Creole French with a side by side English translation. The author has classified the tales using the Aarne/Thompson tale type index (plus Baughman, Klipple & others), allowing easy comparison to similar tales. The tales are word for word transcriptions as the storyteller originally delivered them, so they are often marred by imperfections (like explaining the joke after the punchline). But it is a fine collection, divided into groups of Animal Tales, Magic Tales, Jokes, Lies and Tall Tales, Pascal Stories, Legendary Stories and Historical Tales. My favorites were the Jokes, Lies and Tall Tales, Pascal Stories and Legends. The Pascal Stories are probably the most unique feature of the book, an impromptu tall tale where the storyteller bounces new ideas off of comments made by the audience, with an aim to never repeat a performance. Fans of Compere Lapin (AKA Br'er Rabbit) will appreciate the Animal Tales. This book also has a great bibliography for further reading. (Another book I can recommend in the same genre is Cajun Folktales by J.J. Reneaux from August House publishing. That book has only stories, with no technical analyses.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alisha Helton

    The amount of work and care Ancelet put into this book is inspiring. I have a whole new fascination with local folklore and folktales after reading this. It makes me want to collect them myself.

  3. 5 out of 5

    More Bedside Books

    Cajun and Creole Folktales a collection from numerous storytellers be they family or acquaintances of folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet recorded over two decades, transcribed as well as translated to English in 1994 reflects some of the oral traditions and deep cultural histories in part of Louisiana. In its introductory chapters the book gives a little history and language background, among context situating the repertoire and storytellers as well. All of this contributes in making Cajun and Creole Cajun and Creole Folktales a collection from numerous storytellers be they family or acquaintances of folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet recorded over two decades, transcribed as well as translated to English in 1994 reflects some of the oral traditions and deep cultural histories in part of Louisiana. In its introductory chapters the book gives a little history and language background, among context situating the repertoire and storytellers as well. All of this contributes in making Cajun and Creole Folktales something of a jewel, even when experiencing such material face to face is preferable to the page. Of worth for anyone interested in folklore with its detailed academic annotations and analysis, further appealing in in the examination of the morphosis and connections in the stories but, also more accessible through the personal insight of its collector. From short to lengthy pieces representing farcical jokes, complex magic tales, legends imbued with old superstitions, historical based stories sometimes not shying from horror along with popular tall tales and mélange of animal tales (some of the latter two are familiar from my childhood, though apparently animal tales are told less these days I like to think of them as timeless) all bear witness to still breathing languages and cultures. This book of folktales is a bit of knowledge, fun, comedy, the past and nostalgia wrapped together.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    A good collection of stories, but I think the author/collector's notes and comments fill up more of this book than the stories do. A good collection of stories, but I think the author/collector's notes and comments fill up more of this book than the stories do.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cristóbal

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  7. 5 out of 5

    MB

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie Fusek

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  10. 5 out of 5

    Antoinette

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marcie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shane Bernard

  13. 4 out of 5

    Oli

  14. 5 out of 5

    Baileytheslayer

  15. 5 out of 5

    Meera

  16. 5 out of 5

    LeeAnne

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Bess

  18. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Snoek-Brown

  19. 4 out of 5

    Derrick Bourgeois

  20. 4 out of 5

    J

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer L. Julian

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah H.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Langley

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Davie

  25. 4 out of 5

    morrissey

  26. 4 out of 5

    H.P. Wood

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Arceneaux

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

  29. 5 out of 5

    Odette

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

  31. 5 out of 5

    Dixie Diamond

  32. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

  33. 5 out of 5

    Louisa

  34. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Pridham

  35. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  36. 5 out of 5

    Esme

  37. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  38. 5 out of 5

    Soulfoodie Healthy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sara Schulz

  40. 5 out of 5

    Lucky Bawse

  41. 4 out of 5

    Serena

  42. 5 out of 5

    Chiquita Lucero

  43. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  44. 4 out of 5

    Amanda M

  45. 5 out of 5

    Marie Altema

  46. 5 out of 5

    Cale

  47. 4 out of 5

    Joe Antognini

  48. 5 out of 5

    Seana

  49. 5 out of 5

    Jer Wilcoxen

  50. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Haynes

  51. 4 out of 5

    Amarin Astarte

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