北方人文研究 = Journal of the Center for Northern Humanities;第3号 = No.3

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チュヴァシの口碑におけるヴォルガの表象 : 歴史の記憶と想像力についての考察

後藤, 正憲

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/42935

Abstract

There is a common belief that oral tradition is a vehicle for the conservation and transmission of people's memories of the past. The relation between human memory and oral tradition, however, cannot be reduced to the historical representation. Oral tradition is not only a representation of the past, but also a manifestation of imaginative reality. This paper discusses the imaginative aspect of oral tradition by examining various examples of the Chuvash, in Russia. The Chuvash oral tradition has many examples of some person or thing crossing over the Volga which elicits special meanings. In those examples, both sides of the Volga, which are distant from each other, in fact, are connected for an instant, imaginarily. A person or a thing, which was on one side of the Volga, is found in the next moment on the other side, and consequently conjures up a mystic effect. Such an imagining of supernatural phenomena as an instantaneous connection of both sides of the large river functions as a "relevant mystery" in the Chuvash oral tradition. This "relevant mystery" is a critical element in cultural representation to evoke other phases of things, and consequently to consolidate the awareness of reality. Especially, the semiotic theory of such members of the Prague Linguistic Circle as P. Bogatyrev and J. Mukařovský is useful in considering the functions of the representation of the Volga in the Chuvash oral tradition. Their semiotic theory is characterized by its underlying notion of the dialectical relationship between at least two irreducible functions of signs. When taking their semiotic notion into consideration, the Chuvash oral tradition cannot be reduced to a simple representation of human memory. Oral traditions concerning the Volga illustrate how cultural representation as oral tradition is composed not only of human memory, but also of human imagination of the other side of present reality.

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