Fatalism and Inaction Associations with the Romanian Ballad of the Little Ewe
Venets: The Belogradchik Journal for Local History, Cultural Heritage and Folk Studies (Volume 7, Number 3, 2016, pp 332-341)
10 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2018
Date Written: December 21, 2016
The ballad of the Little Ewe is generally noted as one of the distinctive features of the Romanian culture. Its facts are simple and few, if any: a little ewe warns its shepherd that his two associates intend to kill him for his possessions. The discussion that follows between the shepherd and the ewe is what draws attention – in that there is no mention whatsoever on any precise plans to resist the foretold murder; instead, the shepherd cares to provide instructions for things to happen after his death, in a particularly long lyrical monologue. This latter attitude has prompted many critics to label it as fatalism – and wide cultural implications have been claimed on that account – going to the point where public requests have been made to dismiss the ballad from public conscience as toxic. Discussing the text, we argue here that any such fatalism has to do with the eye of the respective critic – and that if indeed toxicity and eradication need to be mentioned, they would at best be associated with the respective critics rather than with the ballad itself.
Keywords: Romania, Little Ewe, Miorița, ballad, fatalism, popular
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