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Original scientific paper

BAN JOSIP JELAČIĆ IN CROATIAN ORAL LEGENDS: BETWEEN HISTORY AND MYTH

Ljiljana Marks ; Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb, Croatia


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Abstract

The place of historical personages in oral tradition is analysed on
the basis of oral legends. One starts out from the assumption that
there exist in their presentation clichéd notions about the valour of
heroes, the magnanimity or evil of rulers, and of their generosity
and wisdom. Such narrative models are transmitted and adapted to the most diverse historical characters and historical eras, whether the actual biographies of such historical personages are consistent, or not, with the clichés.
The question arises as to the extent to which these texts are
history, or fiction. In linguistic style, they are much closer to the
living vernacular than historical texts are and it is just in that
richness that similar but still quite diverse individual expressions
reveal a greater density of both experiences and data. Although they are history in part, these legends primarily represent experience of a historical fact organised in a literary manner, with identifiable components of oral literature. Complex historical structures are described from the personal worldview of the narrator or the immediate local community. They reduce the macro-historical level to the local, or even the individual one. In this way, they approach contemporary historiography, which does not interpret historical events and persons solely by bare facts, but rather includes the context of events in its scholarly discourse, along with the testimonies of participants, various stories that do not have to be identical, while each one individually reveals or interprets a small portion of truth.
The selected examples show how historical works and the
biographies of historical persons, for example, Ban [Governor]
Josip Jelačić can become the foundation for the creation of national
myths.

Keywords

history, oral legends

Hrčak ID:

24606

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/24606

Article data in other languages: croatian

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