Art of the American Folk Preacher

Art of the American Folk Preacher

  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 278 pages
  • 160.02 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0195000927
  • 9780195000924

Review Text

A scholarly appreciation, explication and analysis of the contemporary oral chanted sermon as a folk art. The author collected his source material by taping in situ, mainly in airless churches and meeting houses in Oklahoma, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia and California, and by interviewing the usually highly cooperative preachers. Inevitably Rosenberg was drawn to the more successful and inventive performers, the most notable being the Rev. Rubin Lacey of California. But the author presents a fair field of folk artists, supplying some sermons in their entirety, commenting upon and drawing critical criteria along the way (breaks and shifts in technique, use of Bible material, pace and meter). The sermons themselves do achieve a poetic power through an efficient use of tension, abrupt swings from King James to folk idiom, and shrewd assonances: "He found them - watch this - in a land/ In the waste howling land/ He led him about and He instructed him/ He kept him as the apple of His eye. . . . " Although Rosenberg's commentary is considerably more cramped than the source material, he has contributed some fine transcriptions of the oral performances of both black and white preachers. A fading folk art caught in its Indian summer. (Kirkus Reviews)show more