By Gillian Bennett
Simply because they're so usually instructed as information, modern legends strength us to reevaluate existence as we all know it. They confront us with macabre, awesome, awful, or hilarious characters and occasions that appear to come back immediately out of myths and folktales, yet are provided as latest occasions. the trouble is that it isn't in any respect effortless to make a decision no matter if those frequently annoying tales could be handled as trustworthy or brushed off as delusion. The legends explored during this e-book are essentially the most weird and wonderful, grotesque, and politically delicate tales within the modern legend canon. At any second a physique can be invaded by means of noxious creatures, intentionally contaminated with lethal illness, or raided to supply donor organs for ill foreigners. those are "winter's tales," the stuff of nightmares. during this booklet Gillian Bennett strains the cultural background of six legends, recognized in Europe and the USA from medieval occasions to the current day. showing in broadsides, ballads, myths, historical and glossy legends, novels, performs, motion pictures, tv indicates, and tales instructed within the oral culture, those legends usually are not simply foolish stories which are disregarded as trivial and unfaithful. They show a lot in regards to the matters and fears of lifestyle and display the boundaries of information and tool within the smooth global. Gillian Bennett is the writer of "Alas, terrible Ghost!": Traditions of trust in tale and Discourse and Traditions of trust: ladies and the Supernatural and coauthor of the traditional legend bibliography and reader. She lives in Stockport, uk.
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Extra info for Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend
6: 338, 466). Two years later, “A Londoner” revived the subject, enclosing a newspaper account of the “Escape of a snake from a man’s mouth” (“Newspaper Folk Lore,” Notes and Queries 1, no. 9: 29–30). A correspondent 41 42 ANIMALS INSIDE promptly wrote to correct his account: the creature was a worm, not a snake, and was swallowed in the East Indies where “such things are common enough” (“Newspaper Folk Lore,” Notes and Queries 1, no. 9: 84). Five other correspondents now joined in: three people sent factual letters discussing the phenomenon and whether any creature could survive in the environment of the human stomach; two people sent in amusing little dismissive anecdotes (“Newspaper Folk Lore,” Notes and Queries 1, no.
Many German parsons came to visit the house . . and they concluded, of course, that the boy was possessed by the devil. It particularly impressed them that when the suffering boy was led to take some fresh air near a pond with croaking frogs, his stomach frogs croaked loudly in reply. 19 The medical men were dismissed and the exorcists took over. 20 On one occasion, the onlookers thought they saw a large snake put its head out of the boy’s mouth. “In the meantime,” Bondeson reports, “a physician had dissected one of the vomited [frogs].
He said himself he knew nothing about anything. . ” So the couple seek the advice of doctor after doctor in their search for a diagnosis and cure; eventually, “there was not a doctor in the county . . ” The prince confirms the beggar man’s diagnosis and gives the farmer a huge meal of salted beef. After that, in due sequence, come the trip to the stream, the open mouth, and the emergence of a dozen alt pluachras and their old ANIMALS INSIDE mother. ’ . . ” Thus, the story is not only entertaining but also offers a powerful advertisement for traditional ways of dealing with health problems.
Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend by Gillian Bennett