Re: [XTalk] Weeden vs. Bailey: > Jimmy Dunn
- At 05:43 PM 1/22/2002 -0600, you wrote:
>Bob Schacht wrote Monday, January 21, 2002 :We are dealing with the transition from oral to written accounts, so I was
> > Contrary to your bold exaggeration of Bailey, the counter-example that I
> > have in mind is that if multiple versions of a story circulate, the haflat
> > samar still has an opportunity to proclaim which version is correct. Thus,
> > informal controlled oral tradition does not have to bat 1000, to use an
> > American idiom; it only needs to bat more than 500. Published accounts that
> > do not receive authentication by the source community would simply lose
> > credibility unless they had sufficient support for other reasons.
>Your point is well taken. But did you mean "*published acccounts*?
several steps ahead of where you wanted to be. We cannot, especially at a
distance, deal with oral accounts, which are ephemeral. Even in the case of
Bailey's data, we are dealing with written accounts of oral performances.
To reconstruct a more original sitz, I suppose that what we may be dealing
with is second-hand oral accounts presented to the haflat samar for
verification. I [presently] have in mind a scenario something like this
(all names are imaginary and have no relation to Biblical persons with the
Peter hears George preach about Jesus-- Let's say about the raising of
Lazarus. Afterwards, Peter asks George where he heard that story. During
his subsequent travels, Peter has the opportunity to visit the community
where George heard the story. Peter visits the local haflat samar, and
asks "I heard George say that...." as he repeats his recollection of what
George said, concluding with the question, "Is that right?" or words to
that effect. Then the haflat samar renders its judgment about Peter's
retelling of George's story. In this scenario, we are still completely
within the oral tradition. We can then conceive a number of borderline
situations, e.g. Peter reads a written account of the raising of Lazarus,
travels to the haflat samar, and presents an oral version of the written
account that he read but could not take with him. Or Peter hears George
preach, and takes notes, confirms the notes with George, takes his notes to
the haflat samar for verification. Then we get to the fully written stage,
where, say, Peter visits Antioch, finds a document in the Bishop's office
about the raising of Lazarus, makes his own handwritten copy, finds out
from the Bishop where the story originated, and then takes his written
notes to the haflat samar for verification. Of course, we also have to face
changes in time in the haflat samar itself, as it ages and members die and
are replaced by newcomers, so that the original witnesses dwindle in
numbers, and their ability to remember the incident clearly starts to wane.
So there you have my thoughts on the process I had in mind from purely
oral to mostly written, FWIW.
>In an oral culture, dependent upon orality for the transmission ofCrossan in BOC talks about various permutations of orality and literacy in
>stories, there be the
>textuality of published accounts to refer to. If there were, it would not
>oral culture, would it?. ...
cultures. Suppose a literacy rate of 2%, with written texts possessed by
less than half a percent. Is that an oral culture or a literate one?
> > In to your discussionGranted.
> > with Jimmy Dunn about the 9th anecdote. This discussion is one of the most
> > interesting because the two of you engage on a more substantive level than
> > in most of the other cases. It is also interesting for other reasons. Your
> > argument with Dunn here is over what is the "core" of the story. Dunn in
> > his reply insists that the core of the story is *what happened.* You,
> > however, are not satisfied with this core, as you try to make the case that
> > the core *must* include not only *what happened* but *who is responsible.*
>Perhaps, my introduction of the issue of responsibility has confused the
>was making. All I am suggesting is that there is a likelihood in the initial
>speech-event evoked by the experience of the tragedy, that neither God or the
>camel entered into the immediate reflexive sharing at the moment of what each
>person saw. That initial speech-event is now been replaced by two
>formulated and interpretative accounts of what happened.
>[snipped]Thank you for your patient response.
> > I hope this helps.
>As usual, your comments are quite helpful. Thank you for taking the time to
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