The Silent Debate Over the Igor Tale


Mann develops an interpretation of the Slovo o polka Igoreve that focuses on its composer's expectations and its audience's perceptions of its discourse. He argues that passages which to modern readers seem difficult or "obscure" were readily comprehensible to 12th- and 13th-century audiences who were thoroughly familiar with the epic’s traditional framework. He points to stylistic features that most likely originated within an oral formulaic tradition and reviews arguments proffered by scholars who insist that the Igor Tale was composed by a highly literate author.

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