Memory in Oral Traditions: The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads, and Counting-out Rhymes

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9780195120325: Memory in Oral Traditions: The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads, and Counting-out Rhymes
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Long studied by anthropologists, historians, and linguists, oral traditions have provided a wealth of fascinating insights into unique cultural customs that span the history of humankind. In this groundbreaking work, cognitive psychologist David C. Rubin offers for the first time an accessible, comprehensive examination of what such traditions can tell us about the complex inner workings of human memory. Focusing in particular on their three major forms of organization--theme, imagery, and sound pattern--Rubin proposes a model of recall, and uses it to uncover the mechanisms of memory that underlie genres such as counting-out rhymes, ballads, and epics. The book concludes with an engaging discussion of how conversions from oral to written communication modes can predict how cutting-edge computer technologies will affect the conventions of future transmissions. Throughout, Rubin presents the results of important original research as well as new perspectives on classical subjects. Splendidly written and farsighted, Memory in Oral Traditions will be eagerly read by students and researchers in areas as diverse as cognitive psychology, literary studies, classics, and cultural anthropology.

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David C. Rubin is at Duke University.

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"Rubin writes clearly and has organized a mass of material, presenting it both minutely and conceptually. Cognitive psychologists and those who work in relevant specialized areas will find the book of interest..." -- A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health


"This is a challenging, interdisciplinary book that promises to have a ripple effect far beyond its home discipline of cognitive psychology....It has enormous implications for the more than one hundred oral traditions that have received specialist treatment over the past few decades, as well as for literary studies, folklore, and anthropology more generally. Dr. Rubin has brought cognitive psychology into a wholly unprecedented dialogue with studies in oral tradition. The result is a truly new perspective on memory and the processes of oral tradition that reinterprets the work of Milman Perry, Albert Lord, and others in an extremely productive way. Not only does Rubin make the psychological view understandable for the layperson, but he manages to reprise the Parry-Lord research in just as clear and up-to-date a manner." --John Miles Foley, William H. Byler Distinguished Professor of English and Classical Studies, University of Missouri


"This is a great book. Not just 'important' or 'fascinating' but great; a very Parthenon of a book."--Roger Brown, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Harvard University


"Filled with fascinating and important insights about how memory really works in the field....This work dramatically enhanced my understanding of 'knowledge in the world'." --Donald A. Norman, Apple Computer, Inc., and University of California, San Diego (Emeritus)


"The beauty of interdisciplinary scholarship is the possibility of novel contributions that enrich both fields. Rubin's merger of cognitive psychology and oral history clarifies and advances knowledge in both areas. . .stands on its own while inviting continued examination of other oral transmissions such as humor and urban legends." --Choice


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9780195082111: Memory in Oral Traditions: The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads, and Counting-out Rhymes

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. Oral tradition is important in many fields of study such as psychology, anthropology, linguistics, folklore studies, history and the classics. This book combines the methods and theories of cognitive psychology with the study of oral traditions to test and expand the ideas of both. It is the first book on oral tradition from an author with professional knowledge of human memory and cognition. Easy to read, and in a jargon-free style, this book will appeal to a widerange of academics and graduate students from various disciplines. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195120325

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