It seems that the idea would be that we are interested in contemporary folklore which differs widely form the old conventional idea of the tall story. That is, the document which substitutes dialogue for just a sort of literary pattern is the most contemporary form of folk literature and that will probably have a significance in the future that would also be termed “proletarian literature” in for some years to come.

Nelson Algren contributed to the Federal Writers’ Project’s oral histories; here’s his work and his methodology, and all the Illinois life histories.