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A curse is dislodged by a curse: Triangulation of charm, curse and legends about saints / Nikolić, Davor.

By: Nikolić, Davor, kroatist.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleDescription: 10-10.Other title: A curse is dislodged by a curse: Triangulation of charm, curse and legends about saints [Naslov na engleskom:].Subject(s): 6.03 | charm, curse, legend, rhetoric, pragmatics | charm, curse, legend, rhetoric, pragmatics In: Verbal Charms and Narrative Genres: A three-day international conference str. 10-10Summary: A curse is often seen as the origin of the evil inflicted upon a person or an animal. Verbal charm can therefore be seen as the countermeasure to a curse, a remedy for evil, but surprisingly or not, a curse is often found in verbal charms as a strategy or a formula of exorcism (cf. Golopentia 2004 ; Ilomäki 2009 ; Pócs 2004 ; 2009 ; Tsiklauri and Hunt 2009). In the fashion of "taking the hair of the dog that bit you" (or in Croatian variant: klin se klinom izbija ("a wedge is dislodged by a wedge") an antidote (verbal charm) uses the same verbal strategy as the cause of the disease. If the poetic word in verbal charms is a remedy (Kekez 1996), then it can treat something inflicted by the word itself. Etymology helps us somewhat in understanding the nature of oral rhetorical genres: urok (the concept best described as the evil eye) is derived from the verb reći (to say), which means that one word is countered by another using some poetic elements of the initial word used maliciously. One of the reasons for this somewhat homeopathic procedure is the fact that cursing is essentially a human activity. By using curses in verbal identification of the evil entity (urok) a charmer treats that entity as equal or weaker than the human, i.e. him/herself. The presence of the curse confirms that the procedure of identification through anthropomorphization (giving names, finding the origin of the evil entity or the very fact of direct addressing) is completed and that the expelling sequence can follow. Saint legends are seen in this research as a source of authority for this practice. The concept of divine or holy authority in verbal charms is a well-studied topic, and this research will try to contribute by analyzing curses used as verbal exorcism in saint legends (both in prose and in verse) recorded in Croatian language from Middle Ages onwards. The analyzed corpus will be compared with verbal charms using the curse as a formula of exorcism.
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A curse is often seen as the origin of the evil inflicted upon a person or an animal. Verbal charm can therefore be seen as the countermeasure to a curse, a remedy for evil, but surprisingly or not, a curse is often found in verbal charms as a strategy or a formula of exorcism (cf. Golopentia 2004 ; Ilomäki 2009 ; Pócs 2004 ; 2009 ; Tsiklauri and Hunt 2009). In the fashion of "taking the hair of the dog that bit you" (or in Croatian variant: klin se klinom izbija ("a wedge is dislodged by a wedge") an antidote (verbal charm) uses the same verbal strategy as the cause of the disease. If the poetic word in verbal charms is a remedy (Kekez 1996), then it can treat something inflicted by the word itself. Etymology helps us somewhat in understanding the nature of oral rhetorical genres: urok (the concept best described as the evil eye) is derived from the verb reći (to say), which means that one word is countered by another using some poetic elements of the initial word used maliciously. One of the reasons for this somewhat homeopathic procedure is the fact that cursing is essentially a human activity. By using curses in verbal identification of the evil entity (urok) a charmer treats that entity as equal or weaker than the human, i.e. him/herself. The presence of the curse confirms that the procedure of identification through anthropomorphization (giving names, finding the origin of the evil entity or the very fact of direct addressing) is completed and that the expelling sequence can follow. Saint legends are seen in this research as a source of authority for this practice. The concept of divine or holy authority in verbal charms is a well-studied topic, and this research will try to contribute by analyzing curses used as verbal exorcism in saint legends (both in prose and in verse) recorded in Croatian language from Middle Ages onwards. The analyzed corpus will be compared with verbal charms using the curse as a formula of exorcism.

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