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Images of afterlife in traditional texts: From event to text

The article addresses the afterlife images occurring in memorates. The focus is on the extent to which such experiential descriptions contain elements of traditional legends and what is genre specific in the ways and functions of imagining afterlife. It is found that although first-person narratives of personal experience do contain elements of traditional folk beliefs and legends, they hardly ever dominate, which is due to the difference in the communicative functions of the two genres. The conclusion of the study is that in memorates the choice of motifs depends on the theme of the narrative complex as well as on the narrator’s personal emotional connection to the event described.