«Gegengabe» in Paremiology, Folklore, Language, and Literature – Honoring Wolfgang Mieder on His Seventieth Birthday
Edited By Christian Grandl and Kevin J. McKenna
Multiple Use of Proverbs in Discourse
In Anglo-American paremiology there exists a number of works mentioning the phenomenon of multiple application of proverbs. In his significant volume Proverbs: A Handbook Wolfgang Mieder distinguishes a group of proverb pieces of poetry including, for instance, the famous poem Good Morning, America by Carl Sandberg, and enumerates such poets, as Arthur Guiterman, Paul Muldoon, and others (2004:225). An Anthology of English Proverb Poetry came out in 2005 featuring the works by such outstanding authors, as Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Ambrose Bierce, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney (15th–21st centuries) (Sobieski & Mieder, 2005). As Wolfgang Mieder points out, the tradition of this multiple use of proverbs dates back to the Middle Ages in Europe. The same tendency of bringing several multiple proverbs together in one small stretch of text is discussed in articles by A.L. Macfie and F. Macfie on Turkish poetry of the Ottoman Empire (13th–20th centuries) (1989 & 2001).
It should also be stressed that this phenomenon is tightly linked to European iconographic art. Doubtlessly, the most outstanding and significant example is the painting entitled The Netherlandish Proverbs by Pieter Brueg(h)el the Elder featuring more than a hundred folklore idioms. When in the spring of 2004 the copy of the afore mentioned painting by Pieter Brueg(h)el the Younger happened to be exhibited at The University of Vermont, Wolfgang Mieder made a great scholarly event of the occasion by organizing an...
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