A Meme-Based Approach to Oral Traditional Theory


A meme is the simplest unit of cultural replication. This paper adapts meme theory to explain the workings of several aspects of oral traditions––traditional referentiality, anaphora, and the use of repeated metrical patterns. All three of these phenomena can be explained by operations of repetition and pattern-recognition. This paper ultimately illustrates that the development of meme theory is an important first step towards a wholly materialist cultural poetics.

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