Archer Taylor

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Archer Taylor (born August 1, 1890 in Philadelphia , † September 30, 1973 in Vallejo, California ) was an American German philologist , folklorist and paremiologist .

He often dealt with fairy tales in his work , but his most important work was the collection, comparative analysis and indexing of proverbs . In addition to the storyteller Stith Thompson , Taylor is America's most important folklorist .

life and work

Taylor studied German at Swarthmore College ( AB 1909) and the University of Pennsylvania ( MA 1910). He then began teaching German at Pennsylvania State College (1910-12). From 1912 to 1915 he completed a graduate degree at Harvard University and received his doctorate here in 1915 under John Albrecht Walz with a thesis on Wolfdietrich for Ph.D. Study visits also took him to the University of Chicago in 1911 and to the University of Freiburg in 1913 , in 1925 and again as a Guggenheim scholar in 1927, he also studied with Kaarle Krohn at the University of Helsinki . From 1926 onwards, based on this collaboration, he was also co-editor of the Folklore Fellows' Communications , which is probably the most important publication in narrative research worldwide.

From 1915 to 1925 he taught at Washington University in St. Louis (from 1917 to 1922 as Assistant Professor, then as Associate Professor). In 1925 he became a full professor of German philology at the University of Chicago, where he conducted research in particular on medieval literature and folklore topics; From 1936–1937 he was President of the American Folklore Society . In 1939 he moved to the University of California, Berkeley and taught there until his retirement in 1958. In 1949 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1951 to the American Philosophical Society . In 1959 he and Stith Thompson were awarded an honorary doctorate from the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel . Taylor died on September 30, 1973 after a long illness.

Archer Taylor's most important work was his comparative analysis and indexing of German, English and Latin proverbs . In 1965, together with the Finnish folklorist Matti Kuusi, he co-founded the paremiological journal Proverbium .

Fonts (selection)

  • The Proverb . Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1931. Reprint with an introduction and a bibliography by Wolfgang Mieder : Peter Lang, Bern 1985.
  • An Index to "The Proverb" (= FF Communications 113). Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia (Academia Scientiarum Fennica), Helsinki 1934.
  • The Shanghai Gesture (= FF Communications 166). Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia (Academia Scientiarum Fennica), Helsinki 1956.

Secondary literature

  • Wolfgang Mieder : Introduction . In: Archer Taylor: The Proverb , Peter Lang, Bern 1985, pp. V – xxxix.
  • Wolfgang Mieder: On the 125th birthday of Archer Taylor (1890–1973). Proverbium 32, 2015, pp. 331–338.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Albert C. Baugh, Taylor Starck, BJ Whiting: Memoirs of Fellows and Corresponding Fellows of The Mediaeval Academy of America . In: Speculum . 49, No. 3, July 1974, pp. 606-608.
  2. ^ Entry on Archer Taylor in the directory of the Fellows of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  3. ^ Hari S. Upadhyaya: Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Folklorist (Stith Thompson) . (PDF) In: Asian Folklore Studies . 27, No. 2, 1968, pp. 107-145.