Find the dangler

Katie Trumpener, a Yale comparative literature and English professor who considered Mr. See a dear friend, said he told her and others that he was H.I.V. positive, but bound them to secrecy. In April, Mr. Ganglani wrote to alert her that Mr. See had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Later, Mr. See told her how “it was like being tortured to be there.”

After not having seen Mr. See in a while, he rang Ms. Trumpener’s bell about two months ago. “He said he had further physical problems and his doctor thought he had perhaps had a small stroke,” she said. “He said he was having terrible hallucinations and he feared that he might harm his husband inadvertently, because he wouldn’t be able to tell fantasy from reality.”

Questions Linger After Death of Yale Teacher in Police Custody | New York Times | 12/18/2013

And see: Are danglers wrong?

Jack Swann on myth, legend, and folktale

Folklore scholars generally recognize three major forms of folk narrative: myth, legend, and folktale. Myths are etiological narratives that use gods (divine, immortal figures) to explain the operation and purpose of the cosmos. Legends are quasi-historical narratives that use exceptional and extraordinary protagonists and depict remarkable phenomena to illustrate cultural ideals, values, and norms. Finally, folktales [including fairy tales] are entertaining narratives that use common, ordinary people as protagonists to reveal the desires and foibles of human nature. The following outline illustrates the relationship of fairy tales to other folk narratives.

Jones, Steven Swann. The Fairy Tale: The Magic Mirror of the Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print. (8.)

Marcia Lane on fairy tales, myths, and legends

My own definition of fairy tale goes something like this: A fairy tale is a story-literary or folk-that has a sense of the numinous, the feeling or sensation of the supernatural or the mysterious. But, and this is crucial, it is a story that happens in the past tense, and a story that is not tied to any specifics. If it happens “at the beginning of the world,” then it is a myth. A story that names a specific “real” person is a legend (even if it contains a magical occurrence). A story that happens in the future is a fantasy. Fairy tales are sometimes spiritual, but never religious.

Lane, Marcia. Picturing a Rose: A Way of Looking at Fairy Tales. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1993.