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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Van Dyke - The Other Wise Man, part 5 - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The story stopped with this pearl and now continues.

You probably saw the ending to Artaban's story coming.  The tale was published in the beautiful 1902 volume of The Blue Flower.
The lovely cover and illustrations inside were anonymously created, but still worth keeping.  The physical pleasure of the actual book seems missing somewhat in its digital format.  In the book's Preface Van Dyke says the stories grew together like blossoms on a bush, with this story starting ten years earlier and the others, while he knew them quite well by heart, needed a good while before he could find time, in a hard-worked life, to write them down and try to make them clear and true to others.

The digital link above is to the Project Gutenberg text.  Similarly, here is the Wikipedia article about Van Dyke.  Both those projects deserve our remembering them with donations to keep them going and are non-profits which, if made in 2017, still earn U.S. taxpayers a deduction if that gives you an incentive.  I use both heavily and intend to include them in my year-end giving.  At the same time I always look a bit further and found the Van Dyke biography at The Famous People gave the best view of him.  My only reason for not giving it earlier was it revealed the story's end in a way no Spoiler Alert could rescue.

Van Dyke speaks for himself in these comments in the Preface, saying why he wrote this and the other stories in the book.
As the year draws to a close may that search succeed for you.  Last week I gave three sources for finding Van Dyke's quotes since I believe he had that rare quality...Wisdom.  Just in case you don't want to scroll back there, here they are again, starting alphabetically with today's Van Dyke look at the coming holiday of Christmas.
May 2018 have us all looking on our own life, even as Artaban did -- thinking his quest had failed -- but knowing

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.
  • 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 -
         - Richard Martin -
         - Spirit of Trees -
         - Story-Lovers - 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 .  It's not easy, but go to 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 - 
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 -  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a., when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

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