Cover image for Proverbs : a handbook
Title:
Proverbs : a handbook
Author:
Mieder, Wolfgang.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xvi, 304 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780313326981
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Proverbs offer a concise record of folk wisdom and have appeared in oral tradition, literature, art, and popular culture for centuries. Written by the foremost authority on proverbs, this reference gives high school students, undergraduates, and general readers a concise yet comprehensive overview of proverbs in world culture. The volume begins with definitions and classifications of proverbs, followed by discussions of several notable examples. The book then examines approaches to the study of proverbs and the place of proverbs in literature, politics, popular songs, and everyday life. It closes with a bibliography of print and electronic resources and a glossary. Included are numerous illustrations.

Just about everyone has heard at least one proverb, and most people have heard more. Proverbs offer a concise record of folk wisdom and have appeared in oral tradition, literature, art, and popular culture for centuries. One of the most varied and fascinating types of folklore, proverbs are studied at all levels and are of interest to a wide range of audiences. Written by the foremost authority on proverbs, this reference gives high school students, undergraduates, and general readers a concise yet comprehensive overview of proverbs in world culture.

The volume begins with definitions and classifications of proverbs and a discussion of their origin and dissemination. It then discusses several representative proverbs from around the world. This is followed by a review of scholarship on proverbs. The book next looks at how several proverbs have appeared in political speeches, literature, popular culture, and everyday life. The handbook closes with a bibliography of print and electronic resources and a glossary. Included are numerous photos illustrating the role of proverbs around the world.


Author Notes

WOLFGANG MIEDER is Professor of German and Folklore at the University of Vermont. His many books include A Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992), Proverbs Are Never out of Season (1993), The Proverbial Winston S. Churchill (Greenwood, 1995), The Politics of Proverbs (1997), and numerous others. He is also the editor of Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship .


Excerpts

Excerpts

The book comprises a comprehensive survey of the multifaceted nature of proverbs as colorful expressions of folk wisdom. The first part deals with the definition and classification of proverbs, including such matters as proverb markers and meanings, origin and dissemination, traditional forms related to proverbs, and types of proverb collections. The second part presents essays on the origin, history and modern use of a variety of proverbs. There are also representative lists of proverbs from different cultures and languages, Native American proverbs, African American proverbs, etc. The third part discusses the fascinating scholarship on proverbs that includes empirical studies, linguistic and semiotic considerations, proverb performance in social contexts, issues of culture, folklore, and history, the appearance of proverbs in politics, the expression of stereotypes and worldview in proverbs, the anthropological, sociological, and psychological study of proverbs, the use of proverbs in folk narratives and literature, proverbs in religion and wisdom literature, pedagogical use of proverbs, the illustrations of proverbs in art, and the appearance of proverbs in the modern age of mass media and popular culture. The fourth part contains chapters on the use and function of proverbs in the writings of Lord Chesterfield, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Diickens, Winston S. Churchill, and Bertolt Brecht. There are also sections on proverb poems and songs, proverbs in caricatures, cartoons, comics, advertisements, and newspaper headlines. An extensive bibliography of major studies and collections as well as name, subject, and proverb indices conclude this inclusive study. Excerpted from Proverbs: A Handbook by Wolfgang Mieder All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
1 Definition and Classificationp. 1
Definition Attemptsp. 2
Proverb Markers and Meaningsp. 4
Origin and Dissemination of Proverbsp. 9
Traditional Forms Related to the Proverbp. 13
The International Type System of Proverbsp. 16
Types of International Proverb Collectionsp. 20
Major Anglo-American Proverb Collectionsp. 22
Various Specialized Proverb Collectionsp. 25
Selected Bibliographyp. 29
2 Examples and Textsp. 33
"Big Fish Eat Little Fish": A Classical Proverb about Human Naturep. 34
"First Come, First Served": A Medieval Legal Proverb from the Millersp. 43
"The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree": A Proverb's Way from Germany to Americap. 52
"The Only Good Indian Is a Dead Indian": A Slanderous Proverbial Stereotypep. 60
"Good Fences Make Good Neighbors": An Ambiguous Proverb of Relationshipsp. 69
"A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words": An Advertising Slogan Turned American Proverbp. 79
Proverbs from Different Cultures and Languagesp. 88
Authentic American Proverbsp. 100
Regional American Proverbsp. 106
Native American Proverbsp. 108
African American Proverbsp. 112
Selected Bibliographyp. 114
3 Scholarship and Approachesp. 117
Proverb Journals, Essay Volumes, and Bibliographiesp. 118
Proverb Collections and Future Paremiographyp. 121
Comprehensive Overviews of Paremiologyp. 125
Empiricism and Paremiological Minimap. 127
Linguistic and Semiotic Considerationsp. 131
Performance (Speech Acts) in Social Contextsp. 133
Issues of Culture, Folklore, and Historyp. 135
Politics, Stereotypes, and Worldviewp. 137
Sociology, Psychology, and Psychiatryp. 139
Use in Folk Narratives and Literaturep. 142
Religion and Wisdom Literaturep. 144
Pedagogy and Language Teachingp. 146
Iconography: Proverbs as Artp. 148
Mass Media and Popular Culturep. 150
Selected Bibliographyp. 153
4 Contextsp. 161
"A Man of Fashion Never Has Recourse to Proverbs": Lord Chesterfield's Tilting at Proverbial Windmillsp. 162
"Early to Bed and Early to Rise": From Proverb to Benjamin Franklin and Backp. 171
"Behind the Cloud the Sun Is Shining": Abraham Lincoln's Proverbial Fight Against Slaveryp. 180
"Conventional Phrases Are a Sort of Fireworks": Charles Dickens's Proverbial Languagep. 189
"Make Hell While the Sun Shines": Proverbial War Rhetoric of Winston S. Churchillp. 198
"Man Is a Wolf to Man": Proverbial Dialectics in Bertolt Brechtp. 207
Benjamin Franklin's "The Way to Wealth"p. 216
Proverb Poems and Popular Songsp. 224
Proverbs in Caricatures, Cartoons, and Comicsp. 236
Proverbs and the World of Advertisingp. 244
Proverbs as Headlines and Slogansp. 250
Bibliographyp. 257
Bibliographiesp. 257
Proverb Journalsp. 258
Major Proverb Studiesp. 259
Multilingual Proverb Collectionsp. 266
Bilingual Proverb Collectionsp. 269
Anglo-American Proverb Collectionsp. 272
Regional and Thematic Proverb Collectionsp. 275
Web Resourcesp. 279
Glossaryp. 281
Indexp. 285
Namesp. 285
Subjectsp. 290
Proverbsp. 295