Tradition’s Use of Burns: The Legendary Tradition

  • Mary Ellen Brown


Burns’ own milieu was a traditional one: on the very personal level, he unconsciously accepted many of its practices and concerns; as an artist in words he drew from it in a multiplicity of ways; and as a collector of folksongs he recorded one aspect of that on-going oral tradition, folksongs, for posterity. As inheritor of a cultural tradition, he lived in large measure by it, taking from it, and giving back to it. Unwittingly, he also provided the ever-developing tradition with an immense body of additional material, for he became the central figure in a legendary tradition, which at different times has largely included three narrative genres — personal experience stories, legends, jokes and anecdotes — which reflect changing attitudes and perspectives towards Burns.


Private Tutor Oral Tradition Great Poet Narrative Genre Young Friend 
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Chapter 5 Tradition’s Use of Burns: The Legendary Tradition

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Copyright information

© Mary Ellen Brown 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Ellen Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Edinburgh and BloomingtonUK

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