THE GYPSY FIDDLE and Other Tales Told by the Gypsies by John Hampden

THE GYPSY FIDDLE and Other Tales Told by the Gypsies

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Not the same Gypsies' Fiddle Taikon tells about in the Jagendorf collection of that name, and in fact more generally reminiscent of Manning-Sanders' Red King and the Witch because of their several shared stories. This is a respectable group of 23--half, interestingly, are English and Welsh--culled from three authoritative sources and introduced by adopted-gypsy Jan Yoors. They embody familiar archetypes: most predominant is the young man off to seek his fortune (and fitted out with a home-made honey-cake for nourishment). If the repeated themes seem tiresome, there's some variety since twelve come from Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Syria. The problem with the telling, though, is the inconsistent inflection: dialects are neither differentiated enough to reflect ethnic diversity nor like enough to project the common heritage and single Romany tongue from which they stem. Whereas Mrs. Manning-Sanders sounds just as right as the authentic Taikon throughout. . . leaving Hampden playing second fiddle here.

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1969
Publisher: World