The stories contained in the following pages are taken from the
collections published by Afanasief, Khudyakof, Erlenvein, and
Chudinsky. The South-Russian ...
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Russian Fairy Tales

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The stories contained in the following pages are taken from the
collections published by Afanasief, Khudyakof, Erlenvein, and
Chudinsky. The South-Russian collections of Kulish and Rudchenko I
have been able to use but little, there being no complete dictionary
available of the dialect, or rather the language, in which they are
written. Of these works that of Afanasief is by far the most
important, extending to nearly 3,000 pages, and containing 332
distinct stories--of many of which several variants are given,
sometimes as many as five. Khudyakof's collection contains 122
skazkas--as the Russian folk-tales are called--Erlenvein's 41, and
Chudinsky's 31. Afanasief has also published a separate volume,
containing 33 "legends," and he has inserted a great number of stories
of various kinds in his "Poetic views of the Old Slavonians about
Nature," a work to which I have had constant recourse.

From the stories contained in what may be called the "chap-book
literature" of Russia, I have made but few extracts. It may, however,
be as well to say a few words about them. There is a Russian word
_lub_, diminutive _lubok_, meaning the soft bark of the lime tree,
which at one time was used instead of paper. The popular tales which
were current in former days were at first printed on sheets or strips
of this substance, whence the term _lubochnuiya_ came to be given to
all such productions of the cheap press, even after paper had taken
the place of bark.[1]

The stories which have thus been preserved have no small interest of
their own, but they cannot be considered as fair illustrations of
Russian folk-lore, for their compilers in many cases took them from
any sources to which they had access, whether eastern or western,
merely adapting what they borrowed to Russian forms of thought and
speech. Through some such process, for instance, seem to have passed
the very popular Russian stories of Eruslan Lazarevich and of Bova
Korolevich. They have often been quoted as "creations of the Slavonic
mind," but there seems to be no reason for doubting that they are
merely Russian adaptations, the first of the adventures of the Persian
Rustem, the second of those of the Italian Buovo di Antona, our Sir
Bevis of Hampton. The editors of these "chap-book skazkas" belonged to
the pre-scientific period, and had a purely commercial object in view.
Their stories were intended simply to sell.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014373135
  • Publisher: Andrew eBooks
  • Publication date: 5/7/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

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