Russian Fairy Tales

Russian Fairy Tales

Book - 1975? 1945
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A collection of the classic Russian folk and fairy tales.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [1975?] c1945
ISBN: 9780394499147
Branch Call Number: 398 AF16RU
398 AF16RU, J 398 AF16R
Characteristics: 661 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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May 01, 2018

Considered Russia’s answer to The Brothers Grimm, Afanas'ev began his quest of collecting traditional Russian folk tales in the 1850s, ultimately amassing a collection of over six hundred stories which he then published in eight installments spanning from 1856-1867. As a reader you’ll find familiar tales with new spins as well as uniquely Russian characters such as Vasilissa the Beautiful, Baba Yaga, Prince Ivan, and the Firebird. This edition features charming black and white illustrations by Alexander Alexeieff (known also for his invention of the pin screen technique in animated short films) and clocks in at 661 pages, making it a significant investment of reader time, but fans of fairy tales and folk lore will find it worth the effort.

May 10, 2012

Russian Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Afanas is a classic collection of Russian folk tales. Originally published in 1866, this version was translated by Norbert Guterman in 1946. In this book there are over 200 stories and poems that were collected by Afanas, these tales are a mosaic of Russian folklore running the gamut from tragedy, romance, humor and adventure. Simple tales that you can well imagine being passed from one generation to another on long Russian nights.

It is obvious in the reading that many, if not most, of these tales were meant to teach life lessons. Many of the stories end abruptly with the death of the main character, illustrating the point of the story - not to do, go or eat something that you have been warned off of. Of course some are obviously simple tales meant to evoke laughter and escape. From obscure stories of simpletons, princesses and talking creatures to the more famous tales of Baba Yaga, Jack Frost and the Fire Bird, one can see how these stores became known as oral poetry.

Passed along verbally over the generations, many variations of the same story emerged. Some would add a humorous slant to their version, others added political touches that had meaning to his audience, while the sly, enterprising storyteller often ended his tale thusly, “This is the end of my tale, and I now would not mind having a glass of vodka.”.


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