Introduction: The Flowering Thorn, International Ballad Studies

Thomas A. McKean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

4 Citations (Scopus)


The flowering thorn expresses the dual nature of the ballad: at once a distinctive
expression of European tradition,2 but also somewhat tricky to approach from a
scholarly perspective, requiring a range of disciplines to illuminate its rich composition. Much of this latter quality has to do with the very features that characterize ballads, erzählenden Lieder, or narrative songs.3 These include an
appearance of fragmentation, a wide range of cultural and social referents, complex, evocative symbolic language, and variation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Flowering Thorn
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Ballad Studies
EditorsThomas A. McKean
PublisherUtah State University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780874215687
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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