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DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2020-6-2-0-10

Folklore and book culture in the Germany of new age (the case of collection of medical charms, the 16th-20th centuries)

    The paper analyzes collections of charms, dubbed as Zauberbücher and central to early printed book culture in Germany. Among the most popular editions of this kind, one should pay particular attention to the Romanusbüchlein that was reprinted many times over two last centuries since its first edition. Taking as example different editions and compilations, the author shows how oral forms of language interact with the emerging national standard language in Germany at a time when, thanks to the rapid development of typography on the threshold of the New Age, folklore texts were replicated in all sorts of printed versions. Linguistic analysis of texts, compiled both in the Romanusbüchlein and other collections, proves that all charms were edited and published in standard German. Later reprints and handwritten copies also followed the same language, without adapting to regional or dialectal specificities. Comparing the charms of one type, recorded at the same historical time on the territory where the versions of the Romanusbüchlein were actively distributed, one can see that, even in the presence of dialectal variants of charms, texts in the Romanusbüchlein had never been subjected to any linguistic alternations.

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