Folk and Literary: Folklore and Intertextual Aspects


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Slovene Studies – tradition and modernity

Course code: 42 

Year of study: Brez letnika 

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Marjetka Golež Kaučič, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective 

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussion classes 


Course syllabus

Content (Syllabus outline)

Slovenian folk song is generally a spontaneous improvised activity that differs from poem in its way of life, style, variability, and close proximity of production and reproduction. It is a syncretic organism, composed of text (lyrics), texture (melody), accompanying context (a combination of external factors during performance), and a characteristic bearer. On the other hand, an poem is a literary fact, which may have an emphatic acoustic quality but no melody. In addition, its context and performers are different from folk song. Students learn about folk songs and poems in six thematic sections.


Folk and literary: theoretical and methodological points of departure

  • Characteristics of folk songs and poems
  • Theoretical and methodological premises of folklore studies
  • Levels of folk songs and poems
  • Processes of forming folk songs and poems
  • Manners of life, classification, and genres
  • Mutual influences


Intertextual systems of folk and literary

  • Systems of formal and conceptual interactions between folk and literary through different periods of Slovenian literary history
  • An imitative or passive system
  • An active or transformative system
  • Passive-active contact of folk and literary in Prešeren, Jenko, Slovenian modernism, and contemporary Slovenian poetry


Popularized song

  • The phenomenon of popularized song in Slovenia
  • The process of transferring poem to folk song from the end of the eighteenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century
  • The most important popularization aspects
  • From poem to folk song: Simon Jenko’s Lenčica (Little Lenka) and Simon Gregorčič’s Njega ni (He’s Not Here)


Intertextual series of folk and literary

  • What is an intertextual series?
  • Types of intertextual series that use folk song as their basis
  • The process of intertextuality within folk song
  • Intertextuality when transferring folk to literary
  • Analysis of a strong intertextual series: Lenore
  • Analysis of a weak intertextual series: Godec pred peklom (The Fiddler before Hell)


The ballad as a European enigma

  • European and American definitions of the ballad, and methodological and theoretical concepts of the genre (literary history and folklore studies)
  • Origin, formation, etymology, meaning, historical development, characteristics, and role in Europe and Slovenia
  • European and American folklore studies and literary history theories of the ballad (Entwistel, Hustvedt, Buchan, Atkinson, and Seemann)
  • Slovenian folklore studies and literary history theories of the ballad (Vodušek, Kumer, Golež Kaučič, Kos, and Bjelčevič)
  • The folk and literary ballad, ballad vs. romance, ballad typology and themes
  • Analysis of Slovenian ballads (e.g., Desetnica, Mrtvaška kost, Galjot, Umor iz ljubosumja, etc.)
  • Analysis of European ballads (e.g., Twa sisters, Mioritza, Dona Filomena, Corrido de Juan Reyna, etc.)


Folk song and contemporary Slovenian poetry

  • Intertextual links between folk and literary in the period of contemporary Slovenian poetry (1958–2005): theories, currents, and processes
  • Formal and conceptual links between literary and folk from Dane Zajc, through Veno Taufer, Gregor Strniša, Svetlana Makarovičev, Milan Jesih, and Milan Vincetič to Jani Oswald
  • Folk antecedents in contemporary poetic texts applied to the code of folk song context (e.g., citations of structures, stylizations): text analyses
  • Folk antecedents in contemporary poetic texts applied to the context of concrete folk songs (e.g., citations, allusions, and so on): text analyses
  • The concepts and musicality of folk elements in contemporary poetry.



  • Brown, Mary Ellen in Rosenberg. Bruce. A. ur. 1998. Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature, Santa Barbara, Denver, Oxford: ABC-CLIO,1998.
  • Buchan, David. 1997. The Ballad and the Folk. East Lothian: Tuckwell Press.
  • Dundes, Alan. 1980. Interpreting folklore. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, cop.
  • – – ur. 2005. Folklore, Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies. 4 knjige. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.
  • Entwistel, William James. 1939. European balladry. Oxford: The Claredon Press.
  • Foley, John Miles. 2002. How to Read an Oral Poem. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
  • Golež, Marjetka ur. 1998. Ljudske balade med izročilom in sodobnostjo/Ballads beetwen Tradition and Modern Times, Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Golež Kaučič, Marjetka. 2001. Raziskovalne metode v folkloristiki – med tradicionalnim in inovativnim. Traditiones 30/I: 279-291.
  • – – 2002. The Slovenian Ballad at the Turn of the Millenium. Lied und populäre Kultur/ Song and Popular Culture/ Jahrbuch des Deutschen Volksliedarchivs. 47: 157-171.
  • – – 2003. Ljudsko in umetno – dva obraza ustvarjalnosti. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC SAZU.
  • – – 2003. Teorija intertekstualnosti in njena uporaba v folklorističnih raziskavah. SRL 51: 311-331.
  • – – The Slovenian Folk and Literary Ballad. The Flowering Thorn. Thomas A. McKean ed. Utah State university Press: Logan: 295-307.
  • – – 2004. Rošlin in Verjanko. Transformacija ljudske balade v sodobna prozna besedila. Traditiones 33/2: 93-117.
  • – – 2005. Folk Song Today: Between Function and Aesthetics. Traditiones 34/1: 177-191.
  • Grafenauer, Ivan in Orel, Boris. 1952. Narodopisje Slovencev II. Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije.
  • Hribar, Tine. 1984. Sodobna slovenska poezija. Maribor: Obzorja.
  • Hustvedt, Sigurd. 1930. Ballad Books and Ballad Men. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • William O. Hendricks. 1990. Folklora in strukturalna analiza teksta, prev M. Kokot, Nova revija 9/IX/104: 1721-1743.
  • Juvan, Marko. 2000. Intertekstualnost. Literarni leksikon 45. Ljubljana: DZS.
  • Kumer, Zmaga. 1996. Vloga, zgradba, slog slovenske ljudske pesmi. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • – – 2002. Slovenska ljudska pesem. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica:7-47.
  • Legiša, Lino. 1938. Slovenska poezija od Vodnikovih Pesmi za pokušino do priprav na Kranjsko Čbelico (1806-1828). Ljubljana: samozaložba.
  • Koruza, Jože. 1991. Slovstvene študije. Ur. Jože Pogačnik. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta, Znanstveni inštitut.
  • Kos, Janko. 1995. Moderna slovenska lirika 1940-1990. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga.
  • – – 1995. Postmodernizem. Literarni leksikon 43. Ljubljana: DZS.
  • Niles. John D. 1999. The Poetics and Anthropology of Oral Literature. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Paternu, Boris. 1980. Folklorizacija literature in literarizacija folklore. Glasnik SED 20/2: 71-81.
  • – – 1974. Razvoj in tipologija slovenske književnosti. Seminar slovenskega jezika, literature in kulture. Slovenski jezik, literatura in kultura: 131-144.
  • Poniž, Denis. 2001. Slovenska poezija 1950-200. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.
  • Rosenberg, Bruce A. 1991. Folklore and Literature: Rival Siblings. Knoxvill: The University of Tenesse Press.
  • Seemann, Erich. 1955. Ballade und Epos, Zurich: Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde LI/3:147-183.
  • Stanonik. Marija. 2001. Teoretični oris slovstvene folklore. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC.
  • Taufer, Veno. 1975. O rabi rabljenih besed, v: Pesmarica rabljenih besed, Ljubljana: DZS: 43-65.
  • Terseglav, Marko. 1987. Ljudsko pesništvo: Literarni leksikon 32. Ljubljana: DZS.


Objectives and competences

To familiarize students with the features of (Slovenian and European) folk song that clearly distinguishes it from poem, and presents both poetic currents from the perspective of folklore and literary studies through various methodological and theoretical paradigms. To guide students through the relevant Slovenian and international course literature and provide a research basis for their individual research work and scholarly products through lecture classes and term papers. The study process is to help students learn about the basic and mutual relationships between folk songs and poems, the ballad as a special folk and artistic genre, and to present the use of folk elements in literary texts by writers from the Enlightenment to Postmodernism.


Intended learning outcomes

Students use the knowledge acquired in the course to write a piece of academic writing that can serve as a draft of a dissertation chapter or a research article.



Long written assignment (60 %), presentation (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (20 %).


Ecoculture: Studies of Animals and Nature in Folklore, Literature and Culture

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Folk and Literary: Folklore and Intertextual Aspects

Assoc. Prof. Marjetka Golež Kaučič, Ph.D.,


Intertextuality and Cultural Memory

Prof. Marko Juvan, Ph. D.,



Assoc. Prof. Marjetka Golež Kaučič, Ph.D.,


Short folklore forms in culture and society

Asist. prof. Saša Babič, Ph. D.,


Slovenian Emigrants between Tradition and the Present

Prof. Marina Lukšič Hacin, Ph.D.,


The etics of Drama

Prof. Krištof Jacek Kozak, Ph. D.,


The Language of Objects: Topics in Slovenian Material Culture

Prof. Maja Godina Golija, Ph.D.,


The Linguistic Identity of Slovenian Regions

Prof. Jožica Škofic, Ph.D.,


The Role of Woman in Slovenian Society and Culture

Assoc. Prof. Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik, Ph.D.,


Tradition and Ethics

Prof. Edvard Kovač, Ph.D.,


Tragedy in Theater, Culture, and Society

Prof. Krištof Jacek Kozak, Ph. D.,


Word – Music – Ritual

Assist. Prof. Katarina Šter, Ph. D. ,