Reforming oral tradition by Elias Lönnrot and Otto Manninen Nineteenth-century textual processes, textualization and genetic criticism

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Niina Hämäläinen
Hanna Karhu


Collecting, editing, publishing, and re-writing folklore was an essential part of Romanticism and Romantic Nationalism. The increased interest towards folklore and oral poetry was related to the aim of creating elite cultures and literatures. In this process, questions such as what was included in the folklore publications and literature and what was ignored and hidden are of importance. The focus of the article is on the methods of textualization and genetic criticism in the making of national heritage and literature in nineteenth-century Finland. Textualization theory emphasizes the practical-technical process whereby oral/written texts are transformed, interpreted, represented, and published, whereas genetic criticism focuses more on the study of writing processes of literary works in the context of linguistic and aesthetic analysis. However, these two approaches deal with the similar questions of textual processes and variants involved in text-making, particularly variation in the process of creating nationally recognized literature.


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