Matija Murko, Wilhelm Radloff, and Oral Epic Studies


Commonly regarded as pioneers in the documentation of oral epic singing, Wilhelm Radloff and Matija Murko were personally acquainted and spent time together in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the 1880s—a fact not widely known until now. This essay excavates Murko’s (untranslated) Slovenian-language memoirs and discloses a number of historical considerations from the autobiographical account, placing this acquaintance into a wider context, always with an eye toward the history of folklore studies and with special attention paid to a history of Central European research that has been at times neglected on account of its linguistic and historical complexity.

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