|The Wedding of Mustajbey’s Son Becirbey as performed by Halil Bajgoric.
Edited and translated by John Miles Foley. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia (Academia Scientiarum Fennica), 2004. 286 pp.
ISBN 951-41-0953-8 (hardback)
30 euros (hardback)
|ON JUNE 13, 1935, Halil Bajgoric, a 37-year-old farm laborer and epic bard (guslar), performed a 1030-line version of a South Slavic oral epic poem to which its collectors, Milman Parry and Albert Lord, assigned the title The Wedding of Mustajbey’s Son Becirbey . This experimental edition of Bajgoric’s traditional tale includes an original-language transcription, an English translation, and a performance-based commentary; it also features a portrait of the singer, a glossary of idiomatic phrases and narrative units, a study of Nikola Vujnovic’s role as onsite interviewer and latter-day transcriber (and guslar himself), and chapters on the role of music and performatives. The volume is supplemented by a web companion at www.oraltradition.org/performances/zbm/, where readers can listen to the entire song in streaming audio.
JOHN MILES FOLEY is Curators’ Professor of Classical Studies and English, Byler Distinguished Chair in the Humanities, and founding Director of the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA. His recent books include The Singer of Tales in Performance (1995), Teaching Oral Traditions (1998), Homer’s Traditional Art (1999), and How To Read an Oral Poem (2002), which is complemented by the website www.oraltradition.org.