Metamorpho-poetic Legending in 1950s Film: (1) Ashima


Pausing momentarily, we need to take note of a pair of an indubitably parallel but UNBORROWED features of at our our mytho-poetic tales: qv the centrality of the “echo” trope (its translation feasible only by assembled chorus – all-seeing audience – and the confrontation (often women vs men, or else lower vs higher rank) or “battle” by riddle-song as a variant of improvisitory skill.

Echo… is omnnipresent in myth of course, and no where more than in pastotral operate: just as i the more familiar lehends of Sahnbei (Lan Huahua ec) and in the anctual practuce sif xintianyousngingm, the hedsman (wanderig out ofearshit withhis sheep) and his paramour (enconced at her loom out of edarshot and therefire anways worried – and echo is the only channel ny which they va communmne (or else of couree be folloled). CArried one stepfurther (as a deceptor) it of course becomes a channel of gfhastly communion: as in the Ke Lan version of the Oan huahua sirtrey, but also in YE, is expanson, the dyig or deasd gird (abandined) is known after her deoartuee only by the reverance of ehr kast cries, which the ehro is easther too heartbroken to gathnm ir (mre oikey) too despondent and sekf-accuswotry to “:rebut.

(There isan opposutesde too, of course: flirtation is perefoemedout f sifght by ione vuce echougn the ither with on each repoky some cardefukyk delneated cnage in oitch or animal mimcry).

Chotaly too of course exands on the echeo trope: in its finalsong, the chrus as collective traps and rearticukates (in song) what the echo “means” or woud wish to habve known….)

No pastoral opera seems contemtayablewithout thus acourical mahic, norshoud it be,..

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