Composed over numerous many years, the essays listed here are remarkably clean and proper. they give guideline for the scholar simply starting the learn of folklore in addition to repeated price for the various verified students who proceed to strive against with concerns that Wilson has addressed. As his paintings has lengthy provided perception on severe matters—nationalism, style, trust, the connection of folklore to different disciplines within the humanities and humanities, the foreign money of legend, the importance of humor as a cultural expression, and so forth—so his contemporary writing, in its reflexive method of narrative and storytelling, illuminates today’s paradigms. Its amazing autobiographical size, lengthy a component of Wilson’s paintings, employs kinfolk and native lore to attract conclusions of extra common importance. in a different way to think about it's that more recent folklorists are catching up with Wilson and what he has been approximately for it slow.
As a physique, Wilson’s essays boost similar themes and attached subject matters. This assortment organizes them in 3 coherent elements. the 1st examines the significance of folklore—what it truly is and its worth in numerous contexts. half , drawing specifically at the adventure of Finland, considers the position of folklore in nationwide id, together with either the way it is helping outline and maintain id and the fewer savory methods it can be used for the sake of nationalistic ideology. half 3, established largely on Wilson’s vast paintings in Mormon folklore, that's an important in that sector on the grounds that that of Austin and Alta Fife, appears to be like at non secular cultural expressions and outsider perceptions of them and, back, at how identification is formed, by way of non secular trust, adventure, and participation; through the tales approximately them; and by means of the various different expressive components of lifestyles encountered day-by-day in a culture.
Each essay is brought via a well known folklorist who discusses the impression of Wilson’s scholarship. those contain Richard Bauman, Margaret Brady, Simon Bronner, Elliott Oring, Henry Glassie, David Hufford, Michael Owen Jones, and Beverly Stoeltje.