Contemporary Field Records of Mythical-Demonological Legends from Veliki Šiljegovac (Kruševac Municipality), Serbia

Folkloristics 7/2 (2022):
Author: Sonja Stojanović

Using the material gathered in field research in Veliki Šiljegovac (Kruševac), the author analyses mythical-demonological legends. The focus of the paper is on discovering the intersection of traditional and contemporary narratives. Traditional elements are primarily found in the narrative structure and in the elements of plots. Unexpectedly, the chronotope is found to be a segment of tradition in which the traditional meaning is best preserved. Most changes are located in the interlocutor’s attitude towards truthfulness. Although changes in the degree of belief are noticeable in the personal attitudes of the narrator and the audience, they are retained on a formal level, in credibility formulas. Given that the element of belief in the truth of the story is still part of the internal form, the subjective attitude of the narrator is not of great importance for the outlook of the entire genre. A change that is also noticeable and that has probably occurred under the influence of the modern way of life and storytelling is a change in the length of the legends. Namely, most of the recorded legends are shorter and fragmentary. From the comments of the audience, their participation in the narration, the narrator’s attitudes and thoughts, as well as non-verbal signs, and moments of silence, wonder or surprise, it is clear that the tradition of storytelling is still alive even though some of the elements of the traditional legends have changed through time.

Keywords: Serbian folk literature, mythical-demonological legends, field research, Veliki Šiljegovac (Кruševac, Serbia), contemporary storytelling, rhetoric of truth.