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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Not just Fillmore - Story That Never Ends - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

This is being posted before the usual time so you can enjoy a very special storytelling festival if you are within driving distance of Flint, Michigan. 

Go to Michigan Storytellers Festival for the latest information.  This is a special anniversary for the festival and so it is 100% Michigan tellers this year!

While we're thinking of storytelling, earlier here I gave the wonderful story, "The Twelve Months", and a bit of background about Parker Fillmore and another book, The Shoemaker's Apron; Czechoslovak Folk and Fairy Tales, he published.  Today's story comes from back in 1919 in his Czechoslovak Fairy Tales.  While his preface mentions a variety of important native writers, he didn't bother to say which tales were Czech, Moravian, or Slovakian tales and only explained the writers for two stories.  The entire volume is online to enjoy at the delightful World of Tales site, which is keeping so many of these beautiful old folktale anthologies available and so it, too, is Keeping the Public in Public Domain.

Project Gutenberg also has the book if you prefer to download the entire book from there.  (World of Tales would be good for online reading, but each tale would need a download if you wanted to save it.) The Shoemaker's Apron; Czechoslovak Folk and Fairy Tales can also be found at Project Gutenberg.  One year after Czechoslovak Fairy Tales Fillmore published Shoemaker's Apron.  Fillmore's one of those authors with a great sense of storytelling and almost 100 years later his versions are still perfect for telling.  On today's story, he even gives great storytelling directions on this very short story.  It's introduced by a drawing from the book by Czech artist, Jan Matulka.

There's another type of story that never ends.  For some unknown reason I've heard the type called "French Irritating Tales."  They are the kind of story where it returns to the beginning lines of the story and starts all over again in an endless loop.  May your storytelling be endless 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.  

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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