Mudcat Café message #4033963 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4033963
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
13-Feb-20 - 06:45 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
I am afraid I cannot agree with what Jim is saying. This is partly, again, because I do not think he has fully taken in what has been said and what has not been said. Just to correct one factual error, at no point has Brian ever provided evidence to support Jim's assertion that Harker made 'snide' remarks about people in his book 'One For the Money'. Neither has Jim. I think Jim's term for the way his posts are going on this topic would be 'ducking and diving'.

"Questioning the term 'folksong' by calling it fake dismisses the idea that the people even had a culture". This misrepresents the nature of Harker's arguments. My understanding is that the book 'One For the Money' is precisely about the culture of 'the people', and that is one good reason for reading it. Some of my family were musicians in local theatres/variety venues, which is another reason I am interested to read it.

For me, starting an argument that there was a long-standing oral culture by referring to two *written* texts in foreign languages, both of which have been translated into English multiple times, isn't a very good beginning. The key here is the fact that they were written.

There is, of course, a discussion to be had about the way in which narratives and narrative elements crop up in different cultures, and I have encountered various ways of analysing these elements in order to trace lineages, though even this is fraught with theoretical difficulties. But I have yet to see Jim engaging with these issues. I believe this is an area where Steve Gardham knows a lot. I have been dipping into some work by Atkinson which touches upon it.

Just to be clear, I have read an adult translation of Odyssey, and had books telling its stories when I was a child. I have also read various 20th century novels whose themes are taken from it. I have a copy of Boccaccio's Decameron. Jim is not 'telling me' anything by mentioning these writers.

Jim's accusations that I am 'stupid' and lacking intelligence and so on are a tad tedious, and I rather wish he would refrain from this sort of post.

I suspect that when Jim posts that I won't listen to what I am told, he means that I won't take what he says on a topic discussed within the world of folk as gospel. I don't see why I should. To given an example, I have read a lot of what Jim said about Roud's book Folk Song in England. My views on this differ from Jim's. I think it is a fine book.

I believe there are some areas in which my understanding and knowledge, while not by any means 'expert' are better than Jim's. The musical side of it would be one. I do recall having to point out to Jim an example of a singer using ornamentation when Jim had denied that the singer in question ever did any such thing.

Otherwise, thank you for sharing, Jim. I hope you have a nice day and that the weather is better where you are than it is here.

(Going out on the porch to ponder John Moulden's thoughts on how to carry out a discussion)