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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Wenig - How a Young Man Served in Hell - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

I may miss the weather of Saint Louis in winter (although it's far grayer and icier than here in Michigan), but confess I've adjusted to what passes for normal Michigan summers.  We normally get about a dozen days of 90s over the summer, but this year we managed that in the first month.  By the time this appears I'll be in Kansas City, Missouri at the
I sure hope they get a cold spell for the time I'm there, but I'm not counting on it .  This summer has been enough to make me post today's story.

Adolf Wenig wrote Beyond the Giant Mountains; Tales from Bohemia and the illustrations are by his brother, Josef Wenig, with the translation by Lillian P. Mokrejs.  It's an interesting book with all the stories related to the devil -- who doesn't always get the best of the situation in the stories.  It remind me of two most enjoyable books by Natalie Babbitt,
 Both books are highly enjoyable and also has the devil sometimes getting the worst of bargains.
Natalie Babbitt is best known for Tuck Everlasting, but these two are definitely worth more attention than they received.

Even at that, they probably are better known than Beyond the Giant Mountains.  Let's change that with today's story.
Of course you recognized a few familiar themes there as they are part of the world's folklore that travels.  By the way if you wonder where is Bohemia, it's the present day Czech Republic.  

Image result for adolf wenigAs little as most people outside Europe may know about Bohemia, even less is known about Adolf Wenig.  Only the most basic of facts are listed about him in English. 

Here's a Google translated page of his Czech Wikipedia article where you can see he wrote far more than just this book.  Among his books are listed thirteen as fairy tales and legends and he also wrote the libretti for three operas and translated another.  His brother, Josef, was well known for his art in the theater.  This is Josef's Google translated page from the Czech Wikipedia.  Josef also illustrated several books, including several by his brother.  The fact that Josef died in 1939 and Adolf in 1940 is never explained, but those were the years of World War II. The place of burial for Josef is Strašnice Crematory, which Wikipedia says "During both the Nazi and communist era the crematorium was involved in the disposal of bodies resulting from executions and judicial killings. 2,200 decapitated people were said to have been cremated by the 'night shift' during the Second World War."  The Crematory is in Prague.  Adolf is listed on the family tombstone in Prague.  Clearly the world lost a pair of talented artists.
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!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Hodja Still Lives! - Part 3

This is one of my favorite Hodja books

(Also try Kelsey's Once the Mullah as many of those stories are just the Hodja in a different setting.  Did you notice Once the Hodja is in the links below? )
Today's information about the Hodja will be great if you want to find more stories on your own, but otherwise you won't find any stories here.  I do however give you the means to get to some and they even are categorized into six topics.

In my "The Hodja Still Lives! - Part 2" I said today's information would come from Erol Beyman's site, which now can only be found on the Wayback Machine (part of  That link takes you back to July 6, 2004.  I am omitting the PREFACE, INTRODUCTION, GRAPHICS, and LIFE STORY you will find there as I think it's information I've already covered or, in the case of the Graphics, it's difficult to download.  TRAINING has Reading Exercises with 6 stories (Nasreddin and the Pot; Nasreddin Goes Shopping; Nasreddin and the Beggar; Nasreddin and the Smell of Soup; Nasreddin the Ferry Man; Nasreddin's Visitiors). Each checks for Reading Comprehension; Recreating the Story; and Summarizing the Story: Gap-fill Exercise. There's also a section on Learning Exercises with the the story of Nasreddin and the Candles, but I'm told the Java Applets tend to crash browsers, so I didn't try that section.  Instead I bring you Beyman's SOURCES and LINKS.  If you click on STORIES there's a 6-pronged graphic grouping the stories into categories of Family Troubles; Neighborhood; Town Conversations; Animal; Business Life; World Questions.
SOURCES  ( I know these are not all the books, but it gives you an excellent assortment of 20th century publications, including foreign language versions.)
Tales of Nasr-Ed-Din Khoja
Sir Valentine Chirol, Translated by Henry D. Barnham, C.M.G.
Nisbet & Co. Ltd. (London, 1923)

Once the Hodja
Alice Geer Kelsey. Illustrated by Frank Dobias (New York, 1943)

Tales of the Hodja
Charles Downing. Illustated by Willliam Papas (New York, 1965)

The exploits of the incomparable Mulla Nasrudin
Idries Shah. Drawn by Richard Williams (1966)

The pleasentries of the incredible Mulla Nasrudin
Idries Shah. Drawn by Richard Williams (1977)

The Example of the journal Molla Nasreddin in Azarbaijan
H. B. Paksoy, Prof. Dr. Erling von Mende & Baymirza Hayit Festschrift. (Koln, 1988)

Nasr Eddin Hodja, un drôle d'idiot
Auteur/Author: Maunoury Jean-Louis

Sublimes paroles et idioties de Nasr Eddin Hodja
Auteur/Author: Maunoury Jean-Louis, Editeur/Publisher: Phebus (1990)

Tales Alive in Turkey
Dr. Warren S. Walker & Dr. Ahmet E. Uysal (Lubbock, Texas, 1990)

Classic Tales of Mulla Masreddin
MHouman Farzad (Published 1990)

Watermelons, Walnuts and The Wisdom Of Allah, And The Other Tales Of Hodja
Barbara K. Walker. Illustrated by Harold Berson (Published 1991)

The Tales of Nasreddin Hodja
Compiled by: Raymond C.Clark, Illustrated by: Robert MacLean
Pro Lingua Associates Brattleboro, VT USA 800-366-4775 (Published 1991)

More Tales Alive in Turkey
Dr. Warren S. Walker & Dr. Ahmet E. Uysal. (Lubbock, Texas, 1992)

Nasreddin Hodja
Alpay Kabacali, Illustrations by Fatih M. Durmus
Net Bookstores, ISBN 975-479-123-6 (Istanbul, 1992)

Sublimi parole e facezie di Nasr Eddin Hodja, Luni
Auteur/Author: Maunoury Jean-Louis (1994)

202 Jokes of Nasreddin Hodja
Tuncay Yurtsever
Minyatür Bookstores, 87.34.Y.0044.21 (Istanbul)

A Research on Nasreddin Hodja
Metin Hakverdioglu (Published 1996)

The Best Anecdotes of Nasreddin Hoca
Kemal Yorenc, Aksit Bookstores (Istanbul, 1996)

Nasreddin Hoca (Turkish)
Abdulbaki Golpinarli, Illustrated by Abidin Dino
ISBN 975-101-087-X, Inkilap Kitapevi (Istanbul, 1996)

Nasreddin Hoca´nin Dünyasi (Turkish)
Dr. Irfan Nasrattinoglu, ISBN 975-458-077-4
Türkiye Is Bankasi Yayinlari (Istanbul, 1996)

Nasreddin Hoca´ya Armagan (Turkish)
M. Sabri Koz, ISBN 975-329-090-4
Oglak Yayinlari (Istanbul, 1996)

600 Mulla Nasreddin Tales
Muhammad Ramazani (Published 1997, 1998)

The Obstinate Hodja
Kemal Esref Sakarya

The sayings and doings of Nasrudin the Wise
Michael Flanders

The tales of Nasrettin Hoca
Aziz Nesin

Tales of Nasreddin Khoja : 181 Mulla Nasreddin Stories
Henry D. Barnham (Publishing 2000)

MAIN HODJA LINKS  (No, I did not check these. you now should feel a bit more comfortable with using the Wayback Machine for sites no longer up and running.)
Nasreddin Hoca Person of The Millennium by Erol Abit
Nasreddin Hodja im Orienternet (German) by Ömer Faruk Gözelel Mirror
Hoca The Great by Learning Practical Turkish Web Site
Nasreddin Hodja stories by Turgut Durduran & Amy Alexieff
This Remainds Me Of A Story... by Ioan Tenner
Focus Kids (Mediterranean) by Focus Multimedia
600 years old jokes! by Shop 1000 (Istanbul)
Nasreddin Hodja by Stuart Alexander Rockefeller
Nasreddin Hodja by Tara Mulder
Molla Nasreddin - Comic Sage of the Ages by Azerbaijan International (4.3) Autumn 1996
Hodja Brand by Jeremy Schiff
Once the Hodja by Alice Geer Kelsey
Nasreddin Hodja by Alpay Karacali
Nasreddin Hodja, Tales of the Turkish Trickster retold by D. L. Ashliman
Google Web Directory
DMOZ Open Directory Project
Fool's Paradise by Peter Michaels


Next week I promise you will bring a devil of a story .