Russian Fairy Tales

Russian Fairy Tales

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.

The most comprehensive collection of classic Russian tales available in English introduces readers to universal fairy-tale figures and to such uniquely Russian characters such as Koshchey the Deathless, Baba Yaga, the Swan Maiden, and the glorious Firebird. Beautifully illustrated, the more than 175 tales culled from a landmark multi-volume collection by the outstanding Russian ethnographer Aleksandr Afanas'ev reveal a rich, robust world of the imagination.

Translated by Norbert Guterman
Illustrated by Alexander Alexeieff
With black-and-white illustrations throughout
Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library

Baker & Taylor
A collection of the classic Russian folk and fairy tales.

& Taylor

A new edition of the comprehensive edition of more than 175 traditional Russian folktales and fairy tales, collected by the nineteenth-century ethnologist, includes the stories of Baba Yaga, the Swan Maiden, Koshchey the Deathless, and the Firebird. Reissue.
A reissue of the 1945 comprehensive edition of the one hundred seventy-eight traditional Russian folk and fairy tales collected by the nineteenth-century ethnologist, Aleksandr Afanas'ev. Bibliogs

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2006]
ISBN: 9780394730905
Characteristics: 661 p. : ill ; 24 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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