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Saturday, July 4, 2015

100th Post of Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The fireworks here is not just for the 4th of July.

It's hard to believe, but there have been 100 stories in this series of Public Domain stories.  To celebrate I looked for a story with 100 in it and found a goodie.  Because it comes from another language, not every version of the title is translated  the same.  This comes from Frederic Taber Cooper's An Argosy of Fables which had 5 posts in September of 2013.  That book is huge and it was hard to limit myself to a representative of the main categories.  Today's story comes from the segment Cooper called "Hindoo Fables".  When that was mentioned earlier, I explained that was his early 20th century oversimplification of Indian culture since their majority religion is Hinduism.  This comes from the ancient Panchatantra tales.  Noted Sanskrit scholar, Arthur Ryder, has another version of the story he titles "Hundred-Wit, Thousand-Wit, and Single-Wit (pp 444-446)."  I prefer his title, but possibly Ryder's translation was too academic.  Cooper's version tells in more accessible style. 

While your at it, the first two weeks in June's discussion on fables used two Jataka tales for a discussion of whether to tell the moral or not.

A great way to spark a story is to take a proverb and create a story to illustrate it.  Fables do just that, but it's up to the teller to decide if telling the moral helps or hurts the story.

Either way, may our next 100 public domain stories help 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.  

There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  Have fun discovering even more stories!

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