Top Folklore Quotes

Browse top 48 famous quotes and sayings about Folklore by most favorite authors.

Favorite Folklore Quotes

1. "If a student takes the whole series of my folklore courses including the graduate seminars, he or she should learn something about fieldwork, something about bibliography, something about how to carry out library research, and something about how to publish that research."
Author: Alan Dundes
2. "In my introductory course, Anthropology 160, the Forms of Folklore, I try to show the students what the major and minor genres of folklore are, and how they can be analyzed."
Author: Alan Dundes
3. "The class has become over the years fairly large, running to three hundred or more, but I always insist upon reading all the student folklore collections myself. Although this is a tall order, I look forward to it because I learn so much from it."
Author: Alan Dundes
4. "Their term project consists of a fieldwork collection of folklore that they create by interviewing family members, friends, or anyone they can manage to persuade to serve as an informant."
Author: Alan Dundes
5. "There is more to folklore research than fieldwork. This is why in all of my other upper-division courses I require a term paper involving original research."
Author: Alan Dundes
6. "My academic identity is that of a folklorist, and for many years I have taught only folklore courses."
Author: Alan Dundes
7. "I developed some unique software to public it on the web that I call the Folklore Project."
Author: Andy Hertzfeld
8. "Cabinet is a conscious, explicit attempt to portray the Doctor himself as myth. "He's a mischief, a leprechaun, a boojum," says one character, bookseller and collector of incunabula, Syme. "The Doctor is a myth. He's straight out of Old English folklore, typical trickster figure really."29 Neither part of an ongoing narrative, nor specifically located within the series' past, Cabinet is in a position to challenge the portrayal of the Doctor."
Author: Anthony Burgess
9. "Everyone looks for the first snowdrop as proof that our part of the earth is once more turning towards the sun, but folklore maintains that we should be wary of bringing them into the house before St Valentine's Day, as any unmarried females could well remain spinsters!"
Author: Carole Carlton
10. "Sara Kendell once read somewhere that the tale of the world is like a tree. The tale, she understood, did not so much mean the niggling occurrences of daily life. Rather it encompassed the grand stories that caused some change in the world and were remembered in ensuing years as, if not histories, at least folktales and myths. By such reasoning, Winston Churchill could take his place in British folklore alongside the legendary Robin Hood; Merlin Ambrosius had as much validity as Martin Luther. The scope of their influence might differ, but they were all a part of the same tale."
Author: Charles De Lint
11. "In our family "whim-wham" is code, a defanged reference to any number of moods and psychological disorders, be they depressive, manic, or schizoaffective. Back in the 1970s and '80s - when they were all straight depression - we called them "dark nights of the soul." St. John of the Cross's phrase ennobled our sickness, spiritualized it. We cut God out of it after the manic breaks started in 1986, the year my dad, brother, and I were all committed. Call it manic depression or by its new, polite name, bipolr disorder. Whichever you wish. We stick to our folklore and call it the whim-whams."
Author: David Lovelace
12. "If you take myth and folklore, and these things that speak in symbols, they can be interpreted in so many ways that although the actual image is clear enough, the interpretation is infinitely blurred, a sort of enormous rainbow of every possible colour you could imagine."
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
13. "I've had a lifelong obsession with urban legends and American folklore."
Author: Eric Kripke
14. "The worlds of folklore and religion were so mingled in early twentieth venture German culture that even families who didn't go to church were often deeply Christian."
Author: Eric Metaxas
15. "As has already been noted, fantastic literature developed at precisely the moment when genuine belief in the supernatural was on the wane, and when the sources provided by folklore could safely be used as literary material. It is almost a necessity, for the writer as well as for the reader of fantastic literature, that he or she should not believe in the literal truth of the beings and objects described, although the preferred mode of literary expression is a naive realism. Authors of fantastic literature are, with a few exceptions, not out to convert, but to set down a narrative story endowed with the consistency and conviction of inner reality only during the time of the reading: a game, sometimes a highly serious game, with anxiety and fright, horror and terror."
Author: Franz Rottensteiner
16. "We can say the brotherhood of man, and pretend that we include the sisterhood of women, but we know that we don't. Folklore has it that women only congregate to bitch an absent member of their group, and continue to do so because they are to well aware of the consequences if they stay away. It's meant to be a joke, but like jokes about mothers-in-law it is founded in bitter truth."
Author: Germaine Greer
17. "Non- Euclidean calculus and quantum physics are enough to stretch any brain; and when one mixes them with folklore, and tries to trace a strange background of multi-dimensional reality behind the ghoulish hints of Gothic tales and the wild whispers of the chimney-corner, one can hardly expect to be wholly free from mental tension. (Dreams In The Witch-House)"
Author: H.P. Lovecraft
18. "Lady Gregory, in a note to her play Aristotle's Bellows, writes: Aristotle's name is a part of our folklore. The wife of one of our labourers told me one day as a bee buzzed through the open door, "Aristotle of the Books was very wise, but the bees got the best of him in the end. He wanted to know how they did pack the comb, and he wasted the best part of a fortnight watching them doing it. Then he made a hive with a glass cover on it and put it over them, and thought he would watch them, but when he put his eye to the glass, they had covered it with wax, so that it was as black as the pot, and he was as blind as before. He said he was never rightly killed until then. The bees beat him that time surely."
Author: Hilda M. Ransome
19. "I really love folklore. I had read a lot of faerie folklore that informed the books I wrote. I also really love vampire folklore; my eighth grade research paper was on [it]. [With this project,] it was really helpful to think about the way you can use language. When you're writing about faeries, you can't call anyone "fey"; there are certain words that become forbidden because they're actualized in what faeries do. When you write about vampires, you could think the same way about things like the word "red" or "hunger"--it's interesting to think of the ways that the words have double meanings, or different meanings that shifted."
Author: Holly Black
20. "There's a Good Book about goodness and how to be good and so forth, but there's no Evil Book about how to be evil and how to be bad. The Devil had no prophets to write his Ten Commandments, and no team of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folklore about evil people. All we have is the living example of people who are least good, or our own intuition."
Author: Ian Fleming
21. "Witches never existed, except in people's minds. All there was in the olden days was women and some men who believed in herbal cures and in folklore and in the wish to fly. Witches? We're all witches in one way or another. Witches was the invention of mankind, son. We're all witches beneath the skin."
Author: Ian Rankin
22. "Wrath: look at how their folklore portrays our species. There's Dracula for Christ's sake, an evil bloodsucker who preys on the defenseless. There's piss-poor B movies and porn. And don't get me started on the whole Halloween thing. Plastic fangs. Black capes. The only thing the idiots got right are that we drink blood and that we can't go out in daylight. The rest is bullshit, fabricated to alienate us and stimulate fear in the masses. Or just as offensive, the fiction used to create some kind of mystique for bored humans who think the dark side is a fun place to visit."
Author: J.R. Ward
23. "Not all the gods who appear in these tales and fancies became more than mythological figures. Many of them continued merely in this role, without temple or form of worship; they had but a folklore or finally a theological existence. Others became the great gods of Egypt."
Author: James Henry Breasted
24. "...a fundamental rule of journalism, which is to tell a story and stick to it. The narratives of journalism (significantly called "stories"), like those of mythology and folklore, derive their power from their firm, undeviating sympathies and antipathies. Cinderella must remain good and the stepsisters bad. "Second stepsister not so bad after all" is not a good story."
Author: Janet Malcolm
25. "Did Owen say your grandmother was a banshee?""He said she was 'wailing like a banshee,'" I explained.Dan got out the dictionary , then; he was clucking his tongue and shaking his head, and laughing at himself saying, "That boy! What a boy! Brilliant but preposterous!" And that was the first time I learned, literally, what a banshee was--a banshee, in Irish folklore, is a female spirit whose wailing is a sign that a loved one will soon die."
Author: John Irving
26. "I've loved fairytales, folklore and mythology since I was a small child, and I think it was inevitable that they would influence my style and my development of stories."
Author: Juliet Marillier
27. "A folklore study differs from most writing, in that the tale is told in the voice of the individual telling the story, not by the collector."
Author: Karen Jones Gowen
28. "Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to childish hearts than all other human creations."
Author: L. Frank Baum
29. "Will looked at Evie funny. "Advertising?""Yes. You've heard of it, haven't you? Swell modern invention. It lets people know about something they need. Soap, lipstick, radios—or your museum, for instance. We could start with a catchy slogan, like, 'The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult—we've got the spirit!"
Author: Libba Bray
30. "Had she believed all that? Old Pilar's folklore? No, not really; or not exactly. Most likely Pilar hadn't quite believed it either, but it was a reassuring story: that the dead were not entirely dead but were alive in a different way; a paler way admittedly, and somewhat darker. But still able to send messages, if only such messages could be recognized and deciphered. People need such stories, Pilar said once, because however dark, a darkness with voices in it is better than a silent void."
Author: Margaret Atwood
31. "Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it. Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations."
Author: Martin Luther King Jr.
32. "Boiled food is life,' Levi-Strauss writes, ‘roast food death.' He reports finding countless examples in the world's folklore of ‘cauldrons of immortality,' but not a single example of a ‘spit of immortality."
Author: Michael Pollan
33. "One of the effects of indoctrination, of passing into the anglo-centrism of British West Indian culture, is that you believe absolutely in the hegemony of the King's English and in the proper forms of expression. Or else your writing is not literature; it is folklore, or worse. And folklore can never be art. Read some poetry by West Indian writers--some, not all--and you will see what I mean. The reader has to dissect anglican stanza after anglican stanza for Caribbean truth, and may never find it. The anglican ideal -- Milton, Wordsworth, Keats -- was held before us with an assurance that we were unable, and would never be able, to achieve such excellence. We crouched outside the cave."
Author: Michelle Cliff
34. "It's corny, but I think poems are echoes of the voices in your head and from your past. Your sisters, your father, your ancestors taking to you and through you. Some of it is primal, some of it is hallucinatory bullshit. That madness those boys rapping ain't nothing but urban folklore. They retelling stories passed down from chicken coop to apartment stoop to Ford coupe. Hear that rhyme, boy. Shit, I could get down and rap if I had to. MC Big Mama Osteoporosis in the house."
Author: Paul Beatty
35. "When fairy tales are written in the west, they're known as folklore. In the east, fairy tales are called religions."
Author: Paul Henderson
36. "I despise my own past and that of others. I despise resignation, patience, professional heroism and all the obligatory sentiments. I also despise the decorative arts, folklore, advertising, radio announcers' voices, aerodynamics, the Boy Scouts, the smell of naphtha, the news, and drunks.I like subversive humor, freckles, women's knees and long hair, the laughter of playing children, and a girl running down the street.I hope for vibrant love, the impossible, the chimerical.I dread knowing precisely my own limitations."
Author: René Magritte
37. "Our behavior is different. How often have you seen a headline like this?--TWO DIE ATTEMPTING RESCUE OF DROWNING CHILD. If a man gets lost in the mountains, hundreds will search and often two or three searchers are killed. But the next time somebody gets lost just as many volunteers turn out.Poor arithmetic, but very human. It runs through all our folklore, all human religions, all our literature--a racial conviction that when one human needs rescue, others should not count the price."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
38. "I have a better internal and intuitive understanding of folklore and myth than science and technology, so in that way fantasy is easier."
Author: Sarah Zettel
39. "In the folklore of science, there is the often-told story of the moment of discovery: the quickening of the pulse, the spectral luminosity of ordinary facts, the overheated, standstill second when observations crystallize and fall together into patterns, like pieces of a kaleidoscope. The apple drops from the tree. The man jumps up from a bathtub; the slippery equation balances itself.But there is another moment of discovery—its antithesis—that is rarely recorded: the discovery of failure. It is a moment that a scientist often encounters alone. A patient's CT scan shows a relapsed lymphoma. A cell once killed by a drug begins to grow back. A child returns to the NCI with a headache."
Author: Siddhartha Mukherjee
40. "The underlying and more ominous question is whether the story of our species — the greater human narrative — has simply become too enormous, too confused and terrifying, for us to grapple with. This might explain why so many of us now rely on a cacophony of unreliable narrators to shape our view of the world and ourselves . . . these voices deal in the same commodity: a fraudulent folklore whose central aim is insulate us from the true nature of our predicament, to manipulate our anxieties, to goad us into empty consumption or snag us in cycles of grievance and panic."
Author: Steve Almond
41. "De l'autre côté de la fenêtre, le vent continue son folklore. Des nuages de neige passent avec une régularité de trains fantômes. Je pense à la mésange (...) Les mésanges gardent la forêt dans le gel. Elles n'ont pas le snobisme des hirondelles qui passent l'hiver en Égypte."
Author: Sylvain Tesson
42. "What I find interesting about folklore is the dialogue it gives us with storytellers from centuries past."
Author: Terri Windling
43. "In more recent years, I've become more and more fascinated with the indigenous folklore of this land, Native American folklore, and also Hispanic folklore now that I live in the Southwest."
Author: Terri Windling
44. "I've been very influenced by folklore, fairy tales, and folk ballads, so I love all the classic works based on these things -- like George Macdonald's 19th century fairy stories, the fairy poetry of W.B. Yeats, and Sylvia Townsend Warner's splendid book The Kingdoms of Elfin. (I think that particular book of hers wasn't published until the 1970s, not long before her death, but she was an English writer popular in the middle decades of the 20th century.)I'm also a big Pre-Raphaelite fan, so I love William Morris' early fantasy novels.Oh, and "Lud-in-the-Mist" by Hope Mirrlees (Neil Gaiman is a big fan of that one too), and I could go on and on but I won't!"
Author: Terri Windling
45. "Read the folklore masters. Go to galleries. Walk in the woods. That's what you need to be an artist or storyteller."
Author: Terri Windling
46. "I'm working on a very long series of paintings based on desert folklore."
Author: Terri Windling
47. "I love studying folklore and legends. The stories that people passed down for a thousand years without any sort of marketing support are obviously saying something appealing about the basic human condition."
Author: Tim Schafer
48. "I think airports are places of huge human drama. The more I see of it, the more I am convinced that Heathrow is a secret city, with its own history, folklore and mythology. But what has surprised me is the love the people who work there feel for the place. Everyone seems to think they are plugged into something majestic."
Author: Tony Parsons

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Keep to your caste and be too self-respecting to lavish the love of the whole heart, soul and strength where such a gift is not wanted and would be despised."
Author: Charlotte Brontë

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