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Title: The Illusion of Objectivity
Subtitle: A.T. Hatto on «The Story of Sohrāb» and the Hildebrandslied
Author(s): CLINTON, Jerome W.
Journal: Persica
Volume: 17    Date: 2001   
Pages: 27-33
DOI: 10.2143/PERS.17.0.497

Abstract :
In an article published in 1980 A. T. Hatto compares four versions of a story in which, as he puts it, “a ‘good’ father slays a ‘good’ son in battle” — the Hildebrandslied in Germanic, Cú Chulain in Gaelic, Il’ya i Sokol’nik in Russian, and “Sohrāb” in Persian. He begins by saying that these four are the only versions of this narrative pattern in Indo-European languages, but that he has no interest in finding a common origin for them, and discounts the possibility of doing so. His wish is, rather, to undertake a comparative examination of what he calls their “dynamics,” by which he means the logic of their narrative development. He promises “no disturbingly new results,” as a result of this exercise. “The only hoped for gain is a greater tidiness and an enhanced appreciation of the individual features of the four versions.”

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