Herder, the Grimm Brothers, and Richard Dorson’s Antiquarians: A New Look

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American Folklore Society
Richard Dorson was right seeing the antiquarians as the precursors of the study of folklore. Many of them recorded information on “traditions.” However, he did not really understand the rationale behind their work, mixed up in Tudor politics, especially the religious aspects. (The “first” work on folklore in English is an anti-“Puritan” tract.) When Herder and the Grimm Brothers came along in the 18th and early 19th centuries, there was already a body of lore in English which could be transferred to fit in with their ideas. The Grimm Brothers, and the “antiquary-folklorist” Thomas Wight are responsible for developing ideas about survivals, an idea to influence folklore and anthropology for 75 years.
This talk, the Francis Lee Utley Address read by Elliott Oring, took place at the American Folklore Society's 130th Annual Meeting at the Buffalo Niagara County Convention Center, in Buffalo, New York, on October 19, 2018.
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