Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/544

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5o8 Reviews.

The last part of the volume, (more than one-fourth of its total contents), is occupied by the results of some of his enquiries in Haute-Savoie, others of which have been published in the Revue de rHistoire des Religions and elsewhere. Here the author is chiefly occupied with the songs of the peasantry, though marriage and other customs are also included. He uses the term populaire as implying no affirmation of origin, but simply as meaning " current among the people," the origin being forgotten or un- known by those who repeat the songs. " It is wrong to think that a collectivity invents or creates. Whenever the analysis is pushed far enough, one individual, or at most a few, will be found as the source of the inventions or modifications of every kind. To say then of a song that it is a popular Savoyard song does not mean that it is the Savoyard collectivity as a whole, or any small Savoyard collectivity, that has invented it." It simply means that it is current among the Savoyards. But how in that case shall we interpret what he says in the preface concerning Perrault's tales? In spite of chapbooks and broadsides containing coarse engravings and summaries of so many of these tales, which were disseminated throughout Central Europe in the early part of the last century, neither Perrault's tales nor those of his French imitators, he tells us, ever became "populaires." "The chapbooks and broadsides" {I'ifnagerie populaire) have been without any effective result. Thousands of parents have read them to thousands of children, and the stories, thanks to the illustrations, have been engraved in all these little brains ; but for all that the contes de fees have none the more taken root in the villages, and have not become oral again." " The versions harvested in every direction, from the brothers Grimm to M. Paul Sebillot, are different from those of Perrault, and often more archaic." But if Perrault's tales became, by the agency of the broadsides, engraved in thousands of little brains throughout central Europe, they must have been retailed from those little brains thousands, millions of times, and that without knowing their true origin. Flow then can they be ex- cluded from M. van Gennep's definition of " populaire," especially since he admits as " populaires " songs of literary origin or con- tamination ? In England chapbooks seem to have played an important part in disseminating Perrault's tales. With other