Adaptive Occasions: Synchronic Correlatives in Traditional Folktale Adaptations

Daniel Joseph Sobol

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    This essay examines a contemporary re-figuration of the traditional Appalachian folktale “Jack and the Giants’ Newground” through the lens of a recent performance event. The mechanisms of parody generate imaginative friction of foreground and background, a structural aesthetic of formal or functional congruence and indicial dissonance. I posit a key device for such genre-crossing adaptations, one I call the synchronic correlative. Synchronic correlatives are a form of meta-discursive parallelism, Synchronic because they work as non-linear connectors between otherwise independent local/temporal constructs, they are thematic or indicial pivot points that serve to launch a tale-type from one imaginative frame into another.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)310-325
    JournalJournal of American Folklore
    Issue number525
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


    • Storytelling
    • traditional
    • contemporary
    • adaptation
    • synchronic correlative
    • performance
    • AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus
    • Jack Tales
    • creativity
    • parody


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