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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Andersen - What (Father) Does Is Always Right - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Andersen's statue in New York city's Central Park
For this Sunday's celebration of Father's Day I wanted a bit of whimsy and found the perfect story only to discover I posted it last year!  "The Seventh Father of the House" by the Norwegian collectors, Asbjornsen and Moe is a lot of fun and I still recommend it, but today's story is also Scandinavian, although some debate calling the works of Hans Christian Andersen folklore.  He is an excellent creative writer, but many of his stories draw upon folk roots and Andersen's introductory sentence to the story makes that clear.

Then there's the problem translating from the Danish Andersen's title or lead character.  Two excellent Danish authors, Erik Blegvad and Erik Christian Haugaard, each included the story in their anthologies of Andersen and translate it as Father.  Haugaard's book is Andersen's complete works, including Andersen's own notes to his published "booklets", as the stories came out in small collections and in 1861 the author called it a "Danish folk tale that I heard as a child and have retold in my own way." Those same notes give some interesting views by Andersen on the critical response to that collection:
It has been both said and written that this collection was the poorest I have yet produced, and yet among its pages are to be found two of my best fairy tales: WHAT FATHER DOES IS ALWAYS RIGHT and THE SNOWMAN.
(The Snowman was given here five years ago.)

Unlike Blegvad and Haugaard, other authors give the title and lead character as either The Old Man or as The Good Man so, when I ran across it as "Father", I was surprised as I'd known the story for a long time.   However you translate it, the tale is about a rather foolish man with a wife who clearly loves him unconditionally.  His swapping for progressively less valuable items puts it in the category of being a "Noodlehead" tale.  (For people wanting to attribute gender characteristics, be sure to look at the two earlier Noodlehead stories given here.)  My own husband sometimes complains about how film and television make fathers always appear stupid.  I wonder if this is to counteract the old television show, "Father Knows Best"?  The Noodleheads in this story are both male and female, but the story's gentle touch moves us bouncing along to the end.

Excellent as the Blegvad and Haugaard translations are, they're not public domain.  The 19th century translations by Mrs. H.B. Paull, were chosen by Lily Owens for her 1984 complete collection of Andersen because she "found it the most pleasurably readable."  Unfortunately only one illustration is given and the artist's signature is hard to decipher, but may be Hans Richter, even though the style is not typical of his better known more avant-garde work.  On a blog that is no longer active, http://hans-christian-andersens.blogspot.com/, but saved by a site called Encyclopedian Dictionary, many illustrations are given, including the large one possibly by Richter.  Unfortunately even the illegible artist signature is not given.  That blog dating back to 2012, however, does the story a great service, so I, too, want to insert them into the story.
Here are two versions of that ending





























or
All of those, and Mrs. Paull's translation, definitely have him as an Old Man, but I'd recommend borrowing Twelve Tales / Hans Christian Andersen by Erik Blegvad as he not only translated, but did a loving job of illustrating the story and both Father and Mother show good natured Noodleheads, but also show age is not a factor in being called a "noodlehead."

By the way, for all those lovers of Hans Christian Andersen, while prowling for this article I found a very interesting site, Hans Christian Andersen: Annotated Web-o-graphy with lots of links to visit.

The story is so good natured, the storyteller needs to bounce it along in a similar way.  This illustration gives you a visual reminder of all the swaps.
Swap your stories wisely by Keeping the Public in Public Domain, whether it be Father's Day or any day, since it's always a good day for a story.
*********************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Historic Fort Wayne Civil War Days and More!

For most of May through July I feel like I'm constantly on the run, especially when that means being on the road.  This blog comes out on a Saturday so the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens  will celebrate their 50th anniversary with Super SatARTday.  Their building was the old Carnegie public library, so it seems appropriate that, as former children's librarian at the newer Mount Clemens Public Library, I preview my library summer reading program.  Libraries all across the country are thinking astronomically for their summer reading programs as it's also the 50th anniversary of the Moon Walk.

Sunday I return to Historic Fort Wayne for their annual Civil War Days.

Sarah Edmonds as Franklin Thompson
It's always a reunion to get together with friends and fellow re-enactors, like Elise Parker, who does a great job of presenting as Sarah Emma Edmonds, known for serving as a man and later as a nurse with the Union Army during the American Civil War. She even was granted a military pension.  In 1992, Sarah was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame and some of Elise's research helped make that possible. 

Look for us in the Commandant's house.  I'll only be able to be there on Sunday and look forward once again to bringing the story of Liberetta Lerich Green, who grew up on a Shelby Township Underground Railroad Station and her brothers were in the Michigan "Fighting Fifth" Infantry. 








The sidebar here contains Detroit newspaper articles from the Civil War era I was able to locate and reproduce about the Michigan Fifth Infantry.  Here's a picture of those brothers, Will and Ike.  Ike or Isaac started out as a bugle boy, was a "guest of the Confederacy" along with his older brother, Will, at Libby Prison.  His injuries were so bad, he was sent home, only to be brought back to be a Major with the Third Infantry which suffered even worse fatalities that the Fifth's loss of a quarter of its men.
Major Isaac Lerich and Will Lerich
For those of you who know my husband, yes, he'll be there, too, so listen for his banjo playing music from those days.
Hope to see you there or at another of my historical programs.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

High Times in the Dry Times

It's been a good month for fun on the road.  More will still happen, but not almost non-stop, as I've been doing.  Earlier this year I began work on a major historical program looking at Michigan's role during Prohibition, including its two year headstart that got residents thinking of "High Times in the Dry Times."  (You're not seeing double, I start the program as a 1938 reporter looking back twenty years, then step behind the screen to become a flapper revealing even more about the era.  Twenty-first century technology gives a look at both parts of the program.)

I did a very well received preview of the program at Brandon Township Public Library.  This is their Facebook posting about how it went. Next week I will also preview it at a nearby senior residence.  There's been so much happening I had put it aside, but now need to return and feel comfortable with the program being set exactly the way I want it. 

To do that, I want to perform it a bit more before promoting it for autumn.  (The program already has a regular booking for early October.)  This is a great opportunity for a free program, for groups seeking a budget historical program with music and audience participation.

The lack of lead time during the summer months for promoting the preview makes it perfect for groups with an existing audience.  Now that I'm able to focus on it, I'm really looking forward to bringing this program to Michigan audiences.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Bailey - The Dwarf Named Luck - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Since I knew I was going to be on the road more than home during May, I chose two stories each from my most recent book acquisitions.  Today I continue with Carolyn Sherwin Bailey's The Torch of Courage book.  Besides creating her own original tales, such as the Newbery Award-winning, Miss Hickory, I find her anthologies, whether her own original stories, stories she re-told, or stories by another author but unchanged tend to tell and read well.

Encyclopedia.com notes her "predilection for combining instruction and entertainment" -- and I would add she has that rare gift of doing it without becoming preachy. 

This anthology is not well known.  That doesn't mean it's any less up to Bailey's standards.  There is a continuity to the stories as the theme of courage for each of her tales and every story is by her.  I can't be sure about the original owner's last name, but he was named Robert and the book shows it was much-loved and read often.  I find myself fantasizing how the theme of courage was important to him.  The boy's signature (in pencil) looks to be about that of a fourth grader.  For readers in a different area from the U.S., I'd guess he was about nine years old, but found value for many years beyond when he first received it.

I hope you, too, will find it of value.  Both last week's story and this are Bailey originals, but this one was published earlier.
Both this story and last week's "Stout-Heart and the Dragon" involved journeys.  For a while I am happy I'm not journeying.  Whether you are on a journey or home, may you have good reading and Keep the Public in Public Domain!
*******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
          - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bailey - Stout-Heart and the Dragon - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Back when I ordered Tlingit Myths And Texts, I also found an anthology by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey.  I've always found her work, both original stories and collections of stories by others, to be quite tellable.  Not sure if "tellable" is a word beyond the storytelling world, but it is a credit to her that I already have posted her work 13 times before this and I have many of her books, both in the Public Domain and not yet.  The book was clearly the personal property of a young boy from long ago.  The cover has separated from the text, but, other than his writing his name in pencil and it clearly being read often and loved, it's in good condition.  The title story, The Torch of Courage, is set in the winter, so I want to save it for another time.  The title page and cover are the book's only illustrations.  With all the current excitement with the Game of Thrones series, I thought the present was a great time for a dragon tale.  I'm fond of dragon stories anyway, so it grabbed my attention right away.  All the stories in the book require courage on the part of someone, so let's open with a dragon drawing scary enough to worry our hero, Stout-Heart, who already has the challenge of an orthopedic handicap.
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

It seems somehow appropriate that Stout-Heart, who also probably was called crooked and ugly, found the truth about the dragon.  Since there are no illustrations in the book, I went looking to see if I could find a dragon-shaped tree in real life.  There's a plum tree in Vietnam that supposedly is, but I just don't see the dragon in it even though others do.  Instead I found this tree that would need to be seen closer, but definitely looks like a dragon.  It's in the ancient abandoned city of Chellah within the capital city of Morocco .
Found on https://laughingsquid.com/a-tree-shaped-like-a-dragon-in-rabat-morocco/
Today's story was the second to the end of the book, The Torch of Courage.  Next week's story is the final tale and also requires courage.  (I wonder if that was why the original owner treasured this book?).
*******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Swanton - The Sky Country - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Where do we go when we die?  It's a question common to all cultures.

Beyond that, respect for the dead is a problem that arises when dealing with old cemeteries.  Indigenous grave sites have been particularly prone over the centuries to being destroyed or disturbed.  While that is not what happens in today's story, real life for Tlingit storyteller, Bob Sam, and also for a school in Alaska give us real life stories of how to reinter and honor our ancestors.  Those stories follow today's tale respectfully gathered in 1904 by John R. Swanton for the Bureau of American Ethnology where he worked for forty years.  Swanton was not only the president of the American Anthropological Association, but also at times editor of their journal, American Anthropologist.  His work was especially sensitive to Native American religious and spiritual beliefs.

Last week's stories dealt with someone dealing with losing their friends to death, but that is nothing compared to the loss of a mate.  Today's story doesn't say the man's wife died, but the abstracts at the end of Tlingit Myths and Texts says more directly it is how she "was taken away from him."  It's important to remember the myths and stories were transcribed exactly as the storyteller told it.  In the mind of this storyteller  he assumed we already should understand what being "taken away" means.  In this story it's also implied the dead go to somewhere in the sky.  Similarly many believe heaven or the after life is somewhere up above us.  What's different in this story is the man in his "half crazy" state tries to follow her and wanders until he goes to where she is in "The Sky Country."

While the problem of handling old cemeteries appears sometimes in the news, the issue of Native American remains has become recognized more often in recent times than in the days when remains went to museums and universities or were simply dug up and built over.  I mentioned earlier Bob Sam has been involved in this.  A Seattle Times article details how he is working far from Alaska with the U.S. Army War College to exhume and rebury the bodies of 14 Alaskan students who died at the site which used to be the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania.

(The old practice of forcing Indian students to abandon their culture by moving them to boarding schools is another highly sensitive issue in Native American history.  For here in Michigan I strongly recommend The Tree That Never Dies: Oral History of the Michigan Indians by Pamela J. Dobson.  That link lets you buy a Google copy or you may be able to borrow it through your library.)

There's much more than just the Carlisle Indian School to Sam's mission.  A 2010 article from the Juneau Empire looked back at his then 26 years of work "researching and remembering the 'forgotten places' of Southeast Alaska."

Another Juneau Empire article tells how in 1956 a Tlingit burial ground was paved over for a highway and school, but now a "Memorial pays respect to Tlingit burial ground."  The poster opening today's blog article dates back to the start of that memorial.  An earlier article tells more about the scope of the grant funding the memorial, and looked ahead to last year's further stage in the memorial.
Tlingit elder Paul Marks presents the Sayéik Sacred Site Memorial on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. The memorial, placed at Sayéik Gastineau Community School, is a tribute to the people who were buried in the Tlingit burial ground that was paved over for the road and school. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
As Michigan's Odawa elder, who has also gone on "the Long Walk", Simon Otto, would say: Walk in peace.
*******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.