By Robert Cancel
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Extra resources for Allegorical speculation in an oral society: the Tabwa narrative tradition
What will happen on the journey? will the in-laws treat the wife properly'! The questions prove more exciting than the uneventful answer. The last episode is, in fact, a vestigial appendage, adding liule to the unity of the earlier images. Hearing about realistic in-law relationships holds little interest for an audience if it adds nothing to tlle unity of the perfonncd work. At this point it is worthwhile considering litis perfomtano! in relation to the traditional context. If canons exist in oral traditions, they develop within litis context of past perfonnances.
An image is identified as undergoing patterning similar to thM of a previous image. Characters arc defined in narrative by these repeated acts; and different characters are compared and contrasted on the basis of the patterns they follow. 20 The resulting allegorical relationships can be composed of many images and emotions coming togelher on lhc basis of coinciding patterns of repetition. Al lhough formulae and the plots that aniculate them form the basis of these repeated acts and patterns, the repeated units may also be clusters or sets of patterns.
C fixily IUld conlinuily. ·iously repeated in more or less unchanged fo rm between tales. These fo rmulae oonsist o( songs. aie" quality of even everyday speec-h; sec Deborah Tannen (1982: 2 5)). n the. ion. Thus I avoid the term m(Jlif, which connotes the indexing activiry. atic in its disparity and de-finitions. ula need not constitute an cntiru opbodc-, tJtOugh it oftun is its ecnlflll olcrnent. ly&es, I Klentify episodes thai. are rather oompact, dustcring around formulaic clements. n "move,..