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Superman in Myth and Folklore$
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Daniel Peretti

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496814586

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496814586.001.0001

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Superman and the Folkloristic Perspective

Superman and the Folkloristic Perspective

(p.3) 1 Superman and the Folkloristic Perspective
Superman in Myth and Folklore

Daniel Peretti

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter introduces readers to the basic concepts of the study of folklore, called folkloristics, including genres (such as folk speech, myth, folk tale, and legend), performance, and variation. It provides a comparison of folklore and popular culture, highlighting the importance of performance for understanding how folklore differs from mass media such as television and comic books, before discussing the importance of Superman’s transcendence of those boundaries. Included is a brief description of Superman as a collective character—he is comprised of numerous versions across different media. The introduction provides a discussion of how popular culture becomes folklore: becoming performed in face-to-face human interaction. This first chapter foregrounds folkloristics as a perspective, a way to approach material that can be applied to those elements of culture that originate in oral tradition, but that can also illuminate our understanding of material such as Superman.

Keywords:   Folkloristics, Folk speech, Performance, Native and analytical categories, Popular culture

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