Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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are simply stage costumes drawn from the theatri­cal wardrobe. Even the beggar with his rags too artistically draped suggests the painter's model. So there must be the element of reality in their defects before the folk-songs can be accepted as really genuine, and it adds a power and even a liter­ary effect to them, which in its peculiar flavor the most accomplished literary art cannot produce. We seem to hear the speech of living men, to feel the thoughts of simple hearts through the imper­fect utterance, and to experience all the flavor of actual and homely life. The pieces in the Son-niou collected by M. Luzel have all this quality. They have the coarse material and the patches of garments actually worn, and their charm is due to their native picturesqueness and originality. There is no false sentiment, however deep the feeling, and the homely thoughts are expressed in homely phrases, with natural imagery drawn from the as­pect of nature about them and their avocations in life. Their standard of conventionality in speech differs from that of polite society, and there are words and phrases which smack of a coarse and natural life, but they are, nevertheless, singularly pure in thought, and show the soundness and hon­esty of the Breton character, as well as its tender­ness and warmth of affection. If not great refine­ment, there is great depth of feeling, and actual
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