Folklore Today: A Festschrift for Richard M. Dorson
Indiana University, Research Center for Language and Semiotic Studies
"An entire library devoted to the life and deeds of one man, and I'm standing on it!" I had come to Austin, Texas, to attend the 1972 Oral History Colloquium, and the immediate occasion of my yokel wonderment was a cocktail party in the sumptuous reception room atop the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Library. The massive accumulation of documents represented by the many floors of stacks below me all but made my feet tingle, and I wondered how Johnson's biographers could ever hope to deal with it all. The contrast with my own problems as a biographer was almost too perfect. I had written about the lives and works of two folk poets, Larry Gorman and Lawrence Doyle, was well along toward completing a third on Joe Scott and the entire accumulated documentary material available to me for all three I could have held in one hand. It was a neat irony, I felt, and somehow significant if not even symbolic of something or other. Over the cocktail hubbub I told my lovely companion of the moment about it. She thought it was significant too, and maybe symbolic. We had another drink on it.
Ives, Edward D., "Common-Man Biography: Some Notes By The Way" (1976). Dr. Edward D. Ives Papers. 11.
Edward D. Ives, "Common-Man Biography: Some Notes by the Way," in Folklore Today: A Festschrift for Richard M. Dorson, ed. Linda Degh, Henry Glassie, and Felix Oinas (Bloomington: Indiana University RCLSS, 1976), pp. 251-64
©1976 by Indiana University-RCLSS
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