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Oral-Formulaic Research in Old English Studies: II

Alexandra Hennessey Olsen

Oral Tradition Volume 1, Number 3

The first four sections of this study, which appeared in the May 1986 issue of Oral Tradition, considered several problems. The initial one discussed whether Old English poetry was composed orally or in writing and whether it was presented to a listening audience or to an audience of readers, and the second reviewed the origin and development of the study of oral composition in Old English. The third section studied the basic units of oral composition, the formula and the formulaic system, and the fourth the level above the formula, that of the theme and type-scene.

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