Irwin, Bonnie D. "Frame Tales and Oral Tradition." Oral Tradition 18:1 (2003), 125-126.
Irwin discusses frame tales, where literary "characters become narrators by telling stories of their own" (Irwin 2003, 125). She considers these tales to be important primarily because they shed light on the way people in the time of the piece of literature would use storytelling. Further, the presence of these tales suggests that there is not as great a divide between oral and literary composition as has often been assumed. Oral works can move into literature, and literary works can be transmitted and preserved orally. "Oral tradition studies enable scholars to escape the endless search for intertextual routes from the transmission of medieval tales and concentrate more on what those tales might mean" (Irwin 2003, 126).