Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales
Vance Randolph has long been an undeniable presence on the American folklore scholarship scene. His Ozark corpus is "the best known single body of regional folklore in the United States," according to Richard Dorson, director of the Folklore Institute at Indiana University. And Gershon Legman, the world's leading scholar of sexual and scatological humor, has called Randolph "the greatest and most successful field collector and regional folklorist that America ever had." In Legman's estimation, "We have no one else like him. He is a national treasure, like Mark Twain.
Randolph's reputation rests on the massive accumulation of folksong, folktale, and ballad materials he collected during forty years of living and working in the Ozarks. Unfortunately, in the 1950s when Randolph published several collection of Ozark tales, the material in this volume was considered unprintable.
Pissing in the Snow departs from the academic prudery that until recently has restricted the amount of bawdy folklore available for study. It presents a body of material that for twenty years has circulated only in manuscript or microfilm under its present title.
When placed in their rightful context alongside Randolph's other collections of folk material, the bawdy tales help provide evidence of what Ozark hill people think about their own lives and language. As Rayna Green writes in her introduction, "The entire body of material . . . offers a picture of expressive behavior unparalleled by any other American region's or group's study." Hoffmann's annotations draw parallels between the erotic narrative tradition of the Ozarks and that in other parts of the country and the world, especially Europe.
"As ripe, raunchy, and unprintable as honest 'country humor' could possibly be. . . . Randolph is absolutely tops among America's folklorists."--Publishers Weekly
"A sensitive portrayal of a fast-vanishing breed of people, a vastly amusing insight into a way of life that is rapidly passing."--Choice
"A delightful book of Americana. . . for readers who enjoy bawdy humor and are curious about its rationale and purpose."--Kansas City Star
"An unparalleled American folktale collection."--Gershon Legman, editor of Kryptadia: The Journal of Erotic Folklore
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Edited by Thomas A. DuBois and James P. Leary
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