IL'JA LEMEŠKIN (Cercle linguistique de Prague)
Étude structurale du folklore
Abstract : Folkloristics is the study of verbal art formations that are used in particular moments of the folk life, and subject to specific social norms. Unlike pieces of the »artistic« verbal art, which pre-exist their perfor- mance while being the reason of the performance itself (a public declamation is organized because of a pre-existent poem, so that it serves the poem; a stage is produced because of a pre-existent drama, so that it serves the drama), authentic pieces of folklore serve the very moment of their performance, which is a reason pro se: a strictly normed event of the folk life exacts from someone to say (or to sing) something and from someone else to react by saying (or singing) something else, and what is said (or sung) in that moment is said (or sung) because of the moment. What is traditionally understood and studied as folklore in western as well as in central Europe, are historical records made long time, even centuries ago — under circumstances we do not know, and having subsequently experienced modifications we do not even suspect. On the other hand, under contemporary Baltic and eastern-Slavic populations, we can still ex- perience the traditional forms of folklore as living performances, almost directly accessible to modern research.Folklore should be approached in a structuralist-functionalist way, so that the socially normed, cultural-historical event of a folklore performance is grasped and understood as a whole, and so that all parts and all relations delimited within the performance are constantly evaluated with respect to the global sense of the whole. Such an approach is quite different from searching for »deep structures« that merely manifest themselves in »surface phenomena«, what, unfortunately enough, is still believed, in some spheres, to be the essence of structuralism. Another regrettable error, widely spread, is to believe that structural folkloristics is embodied in Vladimir Jakovleviè Propp's Morphology of the folk-tale (1928), an a priori work that does not match the philological reality even of the classical collections of Russian folk-tales. A much more satisfactory approach is presented here, that has been developed in some schools of folkloristics in Vilnius and in Sankt-Peterburg, and that, for historical reasons, has been called »structural-semantic«. Actually, the Vilnius and Sankt-Peterburg structural-semantic approach is highly compatible with the functional-structural approach of the Prague tradition.
Pour citer ce document
IL'JA LEMEŠKIN (2018) «Étude structurale du folklore», [En ligne], Volume XXIII - n°4 (2018). Coordonné par Audrey Moutat,