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Another HaulNarrative Stewardship and Cultural Sustainability at the Lewis Family Fishery$
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Charlie Groth

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820365

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820365.001.0001

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“Were You There When … ?”: Microlegends

“Were You There When … ?”: Microlegends

(p.81) Four “Were You There When … ?”: Microlegends
Another Haul

Charlie Groth

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter starts by defining “microlegend,” comparing the term to the usual uses of “legend,” and emphasizing the emergent and quotidian nature of this story type, which functions both to teach and entertain. At the Lewis Fishery, microlegend has two main subgroups: wonder stories and surveillance stories. The wonder story category mainly includes specific incidents that happened at the fishery that are remarkable for being unusual or extreme, mostly unusual catches or difficult hauls. Surveillance stories highlight the fishery family’s stewardship role, and also include two basic subcategories: stories about flooding and stories about people vandalizing the fishery or interfering with the fishing tradition. Microlegends at Lewis Fishery are contrasted with the common term “fish tale,” which also refers to stories about extreme catches; however, where the point of fish tales is generally overt self-aggrandizement or creative falsehood, the point of microlegends is to inspire stewardship or call attention to how wonderous real life is.

Keywords:   Narrative, legend, wonder story, stewardship, floods

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