Who is Krampus and What Does He Do?

I just wanted to thank everyone, including Dr. C for a great semester, and I hope you all have a wonderful break. Below is my project narrative. Enjoy!

 

Krampus: A Wikipedia Project Narrative

 

It all began on August 24, 2018. However, the wheels did not start moving until sometime in October. Admittedly, I struggled for a month trying to pin point what topic I wanted to discuss. Looking back on it, I was truly thinking too hard. Because the answer was in front of me even before the semester had started. Since 2014, I have been curious to learn more about the folklore around the Christmas devil known as Krampus. Its origins are definitely pre-Christian, as well as the festivities surrounding the creature’s legacy. But I knew that if I dived in head first, there could be something very rewarding about this experience.

On a Friday afternoon during Fall Break, I messaged Dr. Campbell and requested to research and write about the Krampus. Dr. Campbell advised me that it would be best to check out the Talk page section of the Krampus Wikipedia. It’s a good thing I did, because there seems to have been a considerable amount of chatter over the last few years on numerous topics. According to Wikipedia, the page is semi-protected. Which meant that I needed to accomplish a particular number of edits before I could add, subtract, or fix anything within the article on Wikipedia. Luckily after a few minor edits to my Sandbox, I gained access to the Krampus article and was on my way to discovery.

My initial research led me to a few resources through VCU’s Cabell Library database. I stumbled upon an article from the National Geographic called “How Krampus, The Christmas ‘Devil’ Became Cool” by Becky Little. It introduces the character of Krampus and its origins in Austrian folklore. It is told that on the 5th of December, also known as Krampusnacht, that Krampus comes to punish the children through torture or dragging them to his lair, or worse; Hell. On December 6th, also known as the Feast Day of St Nicholas, is when Saint Nicholas comes to reward children with gifts and praise for their good studies and behavior that year.

When a graphic designer by the name of Monte Beauchamp discovered some greetings card called Krampuskarten, it inspired him to collect the Krampus cards and gather them into a book to be published. That is one way in which Krampus received attention in the American mainstream. The late Anthony Bourdain’s A Krampus Carol has also garnered some notice in recent years. However, I felt I wasn’t finding what I needed and was just spiraling down a rabbit hole. So, I decided it was time to contact someone at Cabell.

I spoke with Erin Carrillo, a librarian, who gave me a little bit of a direction to start from. We met for about an hour and both did some digging in through VCU’s online resources. But, since there is only so much known about the origins of Krampus, she advised that I look through some Austrian and German folklore to potentially find some clues. Unfortunately, it led me down many different rabbit holes with nothing that connected to Krampus.

So, I decided to use my alumni status look into John Tyler Community College’s database for any potential help. There was an article called “Meet Krampus, the Seriously Bad Santa” and a video titled “Who is Krampus?” through National Geographic. The article discussed how Krampus may have been described as just a “Horned God” and not by any specific name through original pagan traditions. But, due to the Catholic Church stretching its power throughout the Alpine regions in which these practices took place, they associated this “Horned God” with Satan and immediately condemned the character.  In the video I found, it showed how the tradition of Krampus runs are still popular in the Alpine regions and the craftsmanship behind the making of the costumes. It was extremely interesting to see the process and dedication of these woodworkers, but once again led me down a rabbit hole and I was not able to connect much of what I found.

However, I found one book in particular that seemed to be extremely helpful. It is a recently published book titled The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil by Al Ridenour and was filled with bits and pieces of information. In this book, I read about a figure known as the Percht. It is a two-legged goat with a giraffe-like neck and draped in animal furs. Participants were known as Perchten, they dressed up as the Percht and would parade about in the town of Gastein, outside of Salzburg, Austria. These processions were considered predecessors to the eventual Krampuslaufs. They are also the oldest known celebrations of pagan traditions in the Alps. There is only one problem. It’s not easy to determine what these Perchtenlaufs were about aside from the Percht itself. On the other hand, I found something else within the book that gives some insight into how the Krampus may have come to be.

As I continued reading The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas, I found on pages 96-99 that Krampus could have some relation to Christianity. For example, December 24 was considered a holy day dedicated to Adam and Eve. One way to celebrate the occasion was to hold “Paradise plays.” These plays were popular throughout Germany and Austria, and they depicted Adam and Eve being tempted by a devilish creature in the Garden of Eden. Centuries later, these plays would transform into what was called a Nikolausspiel (“Nicholas play”). They took elements of the Paradise plays, but incorporated Saint Nicholas and pitted good versus evil in a competition for human souls. These additions were partially due to the Catholic Church attempting to counteract the Protestant movement in Europe. But what really makes things interesting is that they featured dialogue between heavenly beings and devilish creatures, including portrayals of Death and Youth as figures.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, while the Perchtenlaufs were still prevalent throughout the Alpine regions. But Nicholas parades were becoming just as popular amongst the Alpine peoples. Over time the Nikolausspiel would turn into the modern-day Krampusspiel. The Krampuslauf celebrations still take place in the mountain-sides of the Alpine countries. Except now, the two go hand-in-hand when it comes to Christmas celebrations. Saint Nicholas is seen as the one baring gifts and praise to those who have been good all year. While Krampus has been positioned as his “helper” with whom distributes the torture and punishment to those that are not so good.

After working on this project, I still don’t believe I have cracked the case on Krampus. However, I have learned more now than I did when I started, and I certainly appreciate the journey it has taken me on. As someone who has celebrated Christmas my entire life, I am still relatively new to the Krampus tradition. But I feel that as an individual with ancestral ties to the region, it is my duty to discover more about Krampus and introduce those traditions to my own children one day. And now with many cities throughout the United States introducing their own Krampusnachts, it makes the integration that much easier.

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A WikiOdyssey

The beginning

When I first heard about this project, I immediately thought that it was simultaneously one of the worst and best projects I’d ever heard of.

Let’s start with the negative: I’m not good with choice. I’ve been known to have difficulty even choosing an ice cream flavor, let alone one article out of the hundreds of thousands on Wikipedia. (Out of curiosity, I looked it up. As of December 9th 2018, there are about 5,765,464 English articles according to wikicount.net)

Now, onto the positive: I find Wikipedia fascinating. Information for the people, by the people, a modern day Library of Alexandria. My insomnia means that sometimes I just can’t sleep some nights, and more often than not on those nights I’ll cycle through article after article, following links from page to page long into the wee hours. To have the chance to contribute to Wiki articles sounded great to me. As a bonus, I got to do research, which I’ve always enjoyed.

Choosing a topic

As I’ve already mentioned, I’m bad with choice. I did decide early on that I wanted to focus on classical mythology, which has always been an interest of mine. How I was going to link that to Beauty and the Beast remained to be seen.

Going straight for Cupid and Psyche seemed too easy, and boring beside that. I wanted to look into things that we hadn’t dissected in class. As it turned out though, class discussion was exactly where my ideas sparked. One day in class, we were discussing deities, and I commented that Hermes was pretty much the god of miscellaneous, not expecting to have to explain any further.

See, a lot of the time I forget that there are things I know that are not common knowledge. Whether that makes me self-centered for not thinking of others or means I have low self-esteem because I think I couldn’t possibly know something more than everyone else is beside the point, but I’m a psychology major, analyzing is what I do. Anyway, as someone who’s always been drawn to the fantastical of every culture and had taken Latin since middle school, mythology was second nature to me. So I was surprised that not everyone knew about how much of a catchall Hermes was within the Greek pantheon. So I decided to look into his Wikipedia page, but I didn’t find much that I could contribute that would really relate to the class.

The other class topic that caught my attention was liminality. The not fluid, quite one-way or the other nature of doorways and crossroads and in between spaces has always been interesting to me. All my favorite stories as a kid were about people between worlds, jumping between two worlds and belonging to both, yet never really a part of either. To my delight, liminal spaces just kept appearing in each and every thing we read. So once again, I went to Wikipedia, finding my way to a page specially dedicated to liminal beings, which was shockingly underdeveloped. This was the perfect place to start.

The page on crossroads in mythology was perhaps a bit more of a stretch, but upon reading it and seeing no more mention of classical mythology than a brief mention of Mercury alongside Odin, I simply had to add a section for the Greeks. With my decision made, I got to work.

 

Sources and research

Of the initial sources I found, I did not end up using any directly. However, they were still useful. Without them, I never would have started looking into Hecate. After all, before starting I had no idea that she had a crossroads association. I had thought that my addition to the crossroads page would be entirely dedicated to Hermes. But as I found, he was wore attributed to travelers and traveling overall, while Hecate had monthly offerings made to her at crossroads every new moon.

While I found some information online though the library database, my greatest breakthrough came only after I made an appointment with a Librarian. He helped me find half a dozen possible sources, most notably the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

Do you know that feeling you get when you fall in love with a book? One that sparks something inside you, and you never want to put it down. Usually for me it’s a story, but every now and then one without narrative worms its way into my heart. A pictorial catalogue of rocks and minerals in third grade, an astrology guide in high school, and now this. A wondrous book with entries for practically any aspect of the ancient world I cared to look for.

As soon as I found that book, I was set. Not because it held all the answers I needed –Dr. Campbell was right about that one, there is no magic book for that– but because of what else it led me to find.

See, I had found a magic aisle. Straight through the Starbucks and two rows in from the windows were dozens of books on any mythology or symbology I could have wanted.

My research took twice as long as it probably should have, because I became lost in a wellspring of glorious, endless knowledge. I found a whole book classifying fairies, an index of Chinese mythology, and a whole set of pictorial classical reference books. I did the same thing I do on Wikipedia, flipping back and forth finding fascinating information, only about half of it actually relevant to what I was doing. I had a whole table to myself at the library, with stacks surrounding me and my computer as I read on and on.

Apart from my enjoyment, there was another unexpected benefit of my extraneous research. On the crossroads mythology page, there was a section related to burials. In my reading, I had discovered that Christians had once considered them almost as good as churchyards when it came to laying the dead to rest. Because it was so interesting, I added the information to the page.

Why I am proud of what I accomplished

     Though it might be small against the information ocean of the world wide web, I like to think that maybe, someone reading this pages will see what I wrote and be interested enough to look into the material further. Any opportunity for someone to be drawn into the wonderful contradictory cacophony of Greek and Roman mythology is never something wasted.

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On my Last Post

I’m one of those few people who use the internet without ever actually posting or commenting on anything.  Thus, I began the semester a little anxious at the thought of having to post a blog and comment twice a week.  I couldn’t help it as the idea of everyone reading my work and judging it was something I simply wasn’t used to.  Despite that, I grew used to posting over time and I found solace in knowing everyone else was in the same boat as me.  I also enjoyed reading several of my classmate’s blogs, some of which were basically essay level quality in their input and analysis about whatever topic we had discussed in class that week.  Overall, I’m appreciative of the experience as it was something unknown to before, and I think myself better for having done it.

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a tale as old as… well, you know

As many people have already stated, this is (theoretically) my last post in this class. And I can’t help but feel some kind of remorse over this. What I found most interesting about the class, during and upon reflection, was the marriage of so many different topics. Of course there was English, and within that mythology and folklore and narratology. the structure of a story, its purpose and themes. Then, there was the anthropology aspect. What persisted through cultures, why each version of a myth would be different over time, what it all really said about human kind. Those two subjects were expected, and obvious.

And then, the surprises hit me. I never expected so much philosophy to fall into this course as well — how the purpose of each myth within each culture would ask questions of ourselves, our values, our knowledge of the world around us. I never expected to talk about the kilogram. I never expected to bring up religion. I never thought that we would travel from prose to artwork to movies, all while still staying within the realm of Beauty and the Beast.

Not only is this tale abundant, in literature and culturally, but the questions that arise from it seemingly seep into every genre, every subject. I had always heard that it was a tale as old as time, but I never stopped to think, before this class, that it could be so encompassing.

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Wiki Reflection

When I first heard about this assignment, I was quite excited. Though I did not know exactly what we were going to be doing and the exact topic of my assignment, I am very fond of researching topics, so this was a pleasant surprise to hear about such an unusual assignment. I had never before edited on Wikipedia. I had always wondered how it worked and gave it some thought in the past, but it was for this class with this assignment that was my first experience with the ordeal. The first and perhaps biggest threshold was deciding on a topic article for the assignment. At first a few ideas swam through my head, all dealing with things I am highly interested in. At first, to make my last semester a little easier, I wanted to do something related to Voodoo, since I was already doing an extensive research paper on the topic for my Religion capstone. This, however, did not seem like the best idea. Though there is a great amount of rich myth and folklore surrounding Voodoo, the sources outside of general anthropological research are lacking. Voodoo myths are just not giving much attention I the study of the tradition. This led me to instead look towards the other region I have great interest in, Oceania. The two big names being Aboriginal Australians and Polynesians. I deeply pondered working on the aboriginal dreamtime article. With so many myths top choose from across a whole continent all with a similar cosmological view on the primordial time of dreaming, the thought became a little over whelming. I did not want anything too specific, but nothing too over arching that I would have to keep generalizing and generalizing, leaving no real deep research done. The search of course led me to a character that seemed quite obvious, and when I first realized the potential of the article topic, I smacked my palm against my head thinking why did I not think of this early. This topic was the incredible pan-Polynesian hero/god known as Maui. Made famous to the world by the relatively new Disney movie Moana. I have quite the collection of old books on myths from all over the south seas, and every single one of them has its own chapter filled with Maui myths. It seemed like a ream come true, the perfect topic, with an abundance of sources and information, with a wiki page in need of deep love and care. This optimistic be wonderment was sadly not entirely the case. The fruitful sources on Maui were not as fruitful as I hoped. They were indeed filled with tales of his glorious exploits and deeds to help us lowly humans, but little was there on his basic mythological makeup. Though many of his major exploits are found on many islands, the specifics, and the lesser tales, all vary more than I had hoped. I also could not do my own research using the various myths and piecing together my own view on how they correlate, original research is not allowed from some guy who nearly has an undergraduate degree. Sadly, after reading a great deal of myth stories, I had very little to add to the article. I did not want to simply fill it with the myths themselves, I wanted to fill it with information about Maui. General information on Maui turned out to be a lot more difficult to find than originally hoped. After scouring through a dozen and some books, I found enough to be a blurb of info to head up the article. This, however, was not enough to make a nicely fleshed out article. I had realized there were other articles on Maui. Each one on the different cultural regions and islands his myths are found. Some were quite small and had very little information, but other, such as the Maori page, had a great deal. I really thought it was unnecessary to have all these articles. I wanted to combine the various incarnations of Maui to create the start of a truly informative singular article on the subject, but I had some concerns. The smaller articles I had no problem with merging completely, they had very little and truly should’ve never been their own pages, it was the two larger entries that made me hesitate. Both the Maori and the Hawaiian articles on Maui and his myths were very much well put together. They were only start articles, but very much informative in their own right. The question remained then, what exactly do I do with them. After some pondering and discussing with our wiki representative, I came to a conclusion. I decided to merge the lesser articles completely, getting ride of the separate pages, and I would leave the two larger articles, but have a small section on them on the main Maui page that linked to the specific ones. With this plan all written down, I could finally put it all into practice. I did not get started as early as the initial assignment hoped, but I am a stickler for needing a full plan before I put anything to paper, or in this case website. My final hopes were to bring the Maui mythology page from a stub to at least a start, and I think I have done this. I am not sure when they actually make those distinctions and changes, nothing has changed as of yet, but I believe that when the time comes it will be upped to a start class page. I noticed an interesting phenomenon halfway through this project. On our class wiki page, you can see the number of people that have visited the page. A very interesting statistic, and useful to boot. Before I did any work, and I continually checked this stat once I discovered it, there were 0 views of the article on Maui mythology. Once I finished and as of right now, it has had over 3000 visits. I am very proud to see that, it has made me feel like I have generally helped to give people more information on a topic I find of great interest. I am not entirely sure, but perhaps if I take these Polynesian interests further into my graduate studies, I will return to this little page and make it something even greater out of it.

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a goodbye

With the exception of the final exam, my time with this class is over. Despite the weeks of dread that preceded it, the Wikipedia Project ended up being incredibly rewarding. And the opportunity to spend an entire semester within a single myth felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that only academia can provide.

In the end, I come back to Psyche and the lamp. The image, in every iteration, is burned into each story we consumed this semester. The narrative repeats, circular, echoes of theme and place, the transcendence of generations and culture. We were offered the opportunity to think about stories in new ways. Not as novels to be finished, or movies to be watched, but as fairytales–constantly evolving.

Thank you for the chance to evolve.

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A Fond Farewell

Wow, it’s really kind of crazy when I think about it, but this is indeed my last blog post. This class has been truly amazing for me. I only have a semester left after this, and with the end of this class it’s really starting to sink in. I’ll be finished, and going out into the world to find my place in life.  I won’t get to have classes like this again, and that’s alright. Many other doors will open.  I’m just glad I had the opportunity to have Dr. C and experience this course before I leave. It has definitely been one of my favorite courses ever. As an aspiring writer and blogger. I couldn’t have asked for a better learning experience. I really enjoyed browsing the blog. Your really learn a lot with so many different views and opinions floating around. I wish more classes used as many tools and methods as Dr. C does, but I digress.

I wish everyone the best, and thanks for reading.

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Last Post

This is my last time writing a blog post for this class. This has definitely been a journey but its been so nice and refreshing to have this outlet where we were able to share our thought on the class and also gain insight from our classmates and read about how everyone interpreted what we learned. This is one of the classes that I will genuinely miss and I’m very grateful from the insight this class left me with. Some of the lessons that I took away from our discussions are going to stick with me for a long time and I’m excited to apply new insight into my life and within academics as well.

Thank you guys for being part of my journey!

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Tsuru No Ongaeshi: The Crane Wife

I suppose you could say I like my Wikipedia research project journeys like I like my driving journeys:  full of wrong turns but everything gets where it needs to go eventually.  As I believe was the case for many other students as well, the start of my Wikipedia research journey both commenced with and was paused by the search for a topic.  Surely I can’t be the only one who felt that paralyzing, “what if I choose the wrong topic?” and its more productive counterpart “how do I choose the right topic?”

Armed with the advice from class to either choose something or find something that you thought you might be able to cultivate an interest for, I thought I might be able to choose the article for the Crane Iron Pentalogy.  Growing up, I would watch Chinese Kung Fu movies with my dad all the time so they sort of hold a nostalgic significance for me.  I also remembered watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon when I was younger, and discovering that it was based on the book from the Crane Iron Pentalogy.  Back then, I hadn’t been able to track down the book, even with interlibrary loan.  I thought by making it my Wikipedia research project I could find not only the book, and have an excuse to read it, but also have the opportunity to dive into the Wuxia genre I’d always been curious about.  Dear reader, I was very wrong.  While researching the topic to see if it could possibly work Wikipedia-wise (while connected to mythology, I had some misgivings that it might not be closely related enough for our course) I discovered that the rights to the English translation of the pentalogy had been bought by the Weinstein Company.  They had held on to these rights without publishing a translation, and their recent bankruptcy made the idea of publishing English-version copyrights even more complicated.  Additionally, as I completed the Wikipedia training, I realized that the article topic might not be adequately notable.  Unfortunately, you can’t wish an article out of obscurity.  Sure enough, as I was having doubts, a user confirmed this by deleting the page and moving the relevant information that it contained onto the Wang Dulu (the author) Wikipedia page.  As I was having this article crisis, I remembered that Dr. C had ran across during class how The Crane Wife article had needed some love.  I thought it looked interesting so I checked if it was still available, and luckily enough, it was!  Thus, my new topic was born,

After finding nine physical books that looked promising, I made an appointment with a librarian.  As far as finding new sources, this meeting helped me find two sources that looked promising that were digital.  Unfortunately, one, while folktale related, couldn’t be tied to The Crane Wife.  The other, tantalizingly, was even Japanese folktale related, but in the end didn’t quite cut it for the same reason.  Even if some of the sources didn’t directly pan out, the reminder to use search engine features to your advantage (like using “” or * to expand or refine search terms, or to utilize google scholar’s feature that shows how many times a piece has been cited) helped me immensely during the search process to slim down unrelated results, and also helped with a different research project I was working on that involved The Taming of the Shrew.

Once I finished a few of my source books, I gained the courage to begin editing the Wikipedia page in small amounts.  From there, and drawing from the stressed importance of connections and hyperlinks in class, I scoured the article for places I could make connections.  During this time, I was quite frequently adding relevant external and internal links that I thought would be helpful to someone coming across the page that wanted to learn more.  Many of the source books that I found were examples of the myth beginning to influence and appear on the Western radar.  Among their number (of the works I read) were impressive poetry collections, impressive short story collections, and creative new interpretations of the myth.  One even was an example of American teachers using the mythology of the Crane Wife to teach young children literacy and critical thinking skills.  It was all very wonderful and different material, joined together by the common link of their mythic origin.  I was excited to be able to share this with an unknown audience that might find these sources helpful for understanding the myth from many different angles.  It was exciting being able to consider that others might build upon these sources.  However, while all these links and evidence of The Crane Wife infiltrating popular culture, it did not fit Wikipedia’s goals as an encyclopedia.  As a Wikipedian that happened upon the page pointed out, these instances were too minor.  Wikipedia is not a compendium of really interesting or informative things, it is an encyclopedia first and foremost.  As to the pop culture section especially, I had been adding as many instances as I could find, instead of only curating instances that had a significant impact.  It took me a while, but eventually I acknowledged this and refrained from adding more low-impact works and weeded out some of those that I had added or that had been there before.

By far the most fruitful (and time consuming) in terms of what resulted in direct Wikipedia material were three sources: Folktales of Japan, Ancient Tales in Modern Japan, and Japanese Psyche.  Ironically, I could only directly use Ancient Tales in Modern Japan, however without the other two books, Japanese Psyche especially, that broke down and explained important jargon and cultural motifs, I would not have truly gained as much from Ancient Tales in Modern Japan.  It was also my favorite part of the project, because I was mostly reading as many folktales as my heart desired while searching for strains of The Crane Wife.  These sources were very different from the rest in that they were essentially compendiums of Japanese folklore.  I essentially hit the jackpot with these books as within their unassuming covers was the culmination of the work of not just one scholar but generations of people that cared deeply about folklore.  For example, the work of Fanny Hagin Mayer in Ancient Tales in Modern Japan was able to build upon, categorize, select from, and refine: the work of Kizen Sasaki, who throughout his life published no less than 13 volumes of surviving Japanese folklore, the cumulative work of the Minzoku Gakka (Society for Folklore studies), the Minzokugaku Kenkyusho’s (The Folklore Research institute) impressive collection of over 20,000 tales, all the way back to the work of Kunio Yanagita, who collected as many oral tales as he could in 1910 in his Tono Monogatari.  At first, I struggled with wanting to shove all of the information from these books into the Wikipedia article, but I’d learned my lesson from the pop culture section, and this time only included what was objectively tied to The Crane Wife.

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On my Wikipedia Evaluation

At the beginning of the semester, upon first hearing of the assignment, my initial thoughts were that it was an interesting, albeit different assignment than I was used to.  In all of my previous classes I had never had to do a long term project that required dedication throughout the semester rather than just at the end.  This was daunting to me.  I’ve always had the proclivity to procrastinate when doing essays or assignment for classes.

I didn’t even start using the training modules until Dr. Campbell started issuing due dates to go along with it.  They were helpful, as it provided me the basic methodologies to go and edit in my sandbox and eventually the actual article page.  I did give Dr. Campbell the article I wished to cover for my assignment, but it wasn’t until about two months into the semester that I deigned to enter the library.

I’m not sure about the rest of my classmates, but I never really had a library adventure.  I asked to see a librarian, and I was seen to.  Her advice was simply to browse the various online databases for information that pertained to my article, and that was that.  It was helpful as she pointed me to some decent databases, but I never had any in-depth discussion about what source would be go best with my article.  Nevertheless, I still think that my research has borne fruit of an interesting nature.

The article I chose was on Characterization.  I had chosen the article because I was interested the branch of study that it fell under: narratology.  Though, I did not know the name of it at the time.
For a few years now I have been interested in learning more about the nature of storytelling and the components that comprise a story, which naturally consists of characters.  The actual action of writing and composing a character has roots in mythology that I did not before know of, and many famous psychologists and scholars talk about this.  It was in this vein that I managed to find information on the perspective of mythological characterization using a literary lens.  This included an article that talks about some of the ways that a literary scholar could use to analyze mythology across cultures.  One such method was the Kaleidoscopic Model on Narratology, which aligns with an archetypal model, except that all elements of a story are subject to becoming subset of components mixed and matched to form a mythology.  The other perspective argues against the very concept.  All together both perspectives help analyze characterization in mythology.

To support these perspectives I used two articles that focused on a famous Yakut poet who used mythology from his native homeland to inspire his characters. This was a great source of information.  One of the articles was by Lydia Romanova, “Myth Creation in the Poetic Evolution of P. A. Oyunsky” and another by Anastasiya Myreeva, “Folklore and Epic Traditions in Yakut Novels between Two Ages” both cover the same author and his works that were highly influenced by mythological history of his region and were useful as providing an examples of mythological characterization.  They shed light on the influence that mythology served in the poet’s work by showing how his characters exhibit traditional characteristics of heroes in his region, such as Tygyn.  Then showcased how these characters were re-imagined to conform to modern Soviet examples of heroes including real life examples such as Lenin and Stalin.  Then said characters would then often be the main character in a tragedy.  This use of relatively modern characters having roots in mythology characters extends even to Shakespeare in his play Hamlet.

I was reluctant at first to use my sandbox as I figured that I could do without it and still gather the necessary resources to support my paragraph.  It wasn’t until near the end that I realized the importance of using the sandbox to insure that no problems would arise when actually editing the real article.  I soon discovered that there was more to adding references and citations that I had previously thought, and had to go back to edit the URL links.  Furthermore, they the sandbox was actually a lot more useful to adding notes to my sources than I had first imagined.

My final version of the Wikipedia assignment is not, I believe, the best it could have been.  I do think that it is still of good quality.  Regardless, I have found that the Wikipedia assignment has only been beneficial to me in the capacity that it has forced me to use tools that I had never thought of previously, and to plan a project over time.  How well I did in the latter endeavor may be up to debate, but the project itself has made me recognize the importance of good planning and time management.  This is seen most evidently in some of my peers works and articles, especially the ones who worked throughout the semester instead of just at the end.  All in all, I am thankful for the opportunity this has provided to me to grow not only as a student, but as a member of those who contribute information to world instead of just absorbing it.

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