“And all who told it added something new, and all who heard it, made enlargements too”. A morphological analysis of an urban legend about a lost Marek W.
The aim of this article is to present the life cycle of a gossip, its fixed and recurring elements, excerpted from the analysis of several variants of the same text, and changing elements, which are distorted in the course of propagation. The data used for the analysis are eight variants of a text about a lost student, gathered by the students of the Culture Studies department of MCSU in May. The external analysis reveals the compositional schema of the text that comprises ten segments. The internal analysis, which makes it possible to rewrite the text in terms of motifs, is aimed at revealing the worldview in the gossip (characters, time, space and the idea of the text). This method makes it possible to demonstrate the paths of propagation of the gossip, which are inscribed into the text. The reconstruction of these paths is facilitated by the morhpological analysis. The article presents the way in which the gossip is propagated and the way in which it evolves into an urban legend.