Folk Literature and the Invention of Tradition: The Case of the Barzaz Breiz Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Since its publication in 1839, the Barzaz Breiz has influenced the development of nationalism, folklore studies, and ethnography in Brittany. Presented originally as a collection of oral ballads, the work was later shown to consist of composite texts subject to extensive rewriting. As with the Kinder- und Hausmärchen and Poems of Ossian, the authenticity of the Barzaz Breiz has been the subject of extensive scholarly controversy, particularly within France. This paper summarizes the history of scholarship about the Barzaz Breiz and argues that it is best understood as a key element in the ongoing construction of Breton identity.

publication date

  • April 1, 2017