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The Tar BabyA Global History$
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Bryan Wagner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172637

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172637.001.0001

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Sticking Fast

Sticking Fast

(p.51) Chapter Three Sticking Fast
The Tar Baby

Bryan Wagner

Princeton University Press

This chapter talks about how sticking fast is the tar baby story's essence. Once the story was reduced to this one essential element, it became possible to establish connections between variants that otherwise seemed unrelated to one another. It had always been easy to follow a simple chain of substitution, in which the tortoise takes the rabbit's place, or the story begins with the theft of water rather than the theft of produce, but once one element, rather than the story as a whole, became the object of analysis, the range of potential connections increased exponentially. From Hausaland to Haiti and from Lithuania to the Philippines, collectors discovered tales that were connected to one another through the trope of sticking fast.

Keywords:   sticking fast, trope, tar baby, Hausaland, Haiti, Lithuania, Philippines

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