Wisdom Lives in Words

Memorable Quotes by Alan Dundes

The class has become over the years fairly large, running to three hundred or more, but I always insist upon reading all the student folklore collections myself. Although this is a tall order, I look forward to it because I learn so much from it.
Alan Dundes
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As a folklorist, I have come to believe that no piece of folklore continues to be transmitted unless it means something - even if neither the speaker nor the audience can articulate what that meaning might be.
Alan Dundes
Their term project consists of a fieldwork collection of folklore that they create by interviewing family members, friends, or anyone they can manage to persuade to serve as an informant.
Alan Dundes
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Alan Dundes
Folklore provides a socially sanctioned outlet for the discussion of the forbidden and taboo.
Alan Dundes
In my introductory course, Anthropology 160, the Forms of Folklore, I try to show the students what the major and minor genres of folklore are, and how they can be analyzed.
Alan Dundes
Future orientation is combined with a notion and expectation of progress, and nothing is impossible.
Alan Dundes
I have a great advantage over many of my colleagues inasmuch as my students bring with them to class their own personal knowledge of national, regional, religious, ethnic, occupational, and family folklore traditions.
Alan Dundes
Polls are frequently taken to try to tease out or determine likely directions and trends, but once taken, they belong to the past, requiring that new polls be taken.
Alan Dundes
My own bias in folkloristics is decidedly psychoanalytic. I believe that the vast majority of folklore concerns fantasy, and because of that, I am persuaded that techniques of analyzing fantasy are relevant to folklore data.
Alan Dundes
Cities all over the world are getting bigger as more and more people move from rural to urban sites, but that has created enormous problems with respect to environmental pollution and the general quality of life.
Alan Dundes
It is important to recognize that folklore is not simply a way of obtaining available date about identity for social scientists; it is actually one of the principal means by which an individual and a group discovers or establishes his or its identity.
Alan Dundes
Americans have a penchant for the future and tend to disregard the past.
Alan Dundes
Life, it seems, is nothing if not a series of initiations, transitions, and incorporations.
Alan Dundes
My academic identity is that of a folklorist, and for many years I have taught only folklore courses.
Alan Dundes
I find all folklore challenging, and I never cease to be grateful that I became a professional folklorist.
Alan Dundes
Americans do believe in progress and there is almost certainly a kernel of truth in the joke.
Alan Dundes
Ancestor worship, or filial piety so characteristic of Asian cultures, for example, does not really resonate with Americans who favor children, not grandparents.
Alan Dundes
I mentioned that one of the tripartite formulas in American worldview involves time: past, present, and future.
Alan Dundes
The study of folklore is largely the study of particular folklore genres: myth, folktale, legend, ballad, proverb, riddle, superstition, etc.
Alan Dundes
Americans often have trouble enjoying the present moment.
Alan Dundes
In the light of our culture, these are not unreasonable questions and tactics, but if once again, we try to see the lens through which we look, we can see that there is far too great an emphasis placed on the future.
Alan Dundes
There is more to folklore research than fieldwork. This is why in all of my other upper-division courses I require a term paper involving original research.
Alan Dundes
There can be no self without other, no identity of group A without a group B.
Alan Dundes
They do not merely collect texts; they must also gather data about the context and the informant and, above all, write an analysis of the items based upon the course readings and lecture material on folklore theory and method.
Alan Dundes
If a student takes the whole series of my folklore courses including the graduate seminars, he or she should learn something about fieldwork, something about bibliography, something about how to carry out library research, and something about how to publish that research.
Alan Dundes