Immanent Art: From Structure to Meaning in Oral Traditional Epic. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Building on the investigation into traditional structure presented in Traditional Oral Epic (1990) and also upon the Receptionalist approach to literary criticism, seeks to answer the question of how we might better “interpret works of verbal art that either stem directly from or have roots in oral tradition” (xi) by understanding them on their own terms rather than through a primarily literary lens. Such texts can best be seen as generating meaning through the process of traditional referentiality whereby any given usage of a traditional element draws metonymically from the surrounding poetic tradition via the previous experiences of both poet and audience. Later chapters are then devoted to examining the benefits of recognizing such traditional referentiality in connection with the formulas, themes, and story-patterns of the Serbo-Croatian, ancient Greek, and Old English traditions.