marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Russian Fairy Tales

Russian Fairy Tales by Alexander Afanasyev, translated by Norbert Guterman

I mention the translator because this is, of course, only a selection of his collected works.  A fair number of animal tales intermingled, some tales of sillies, among the wonder tales.

As an extensive overview of Russian fairy tales, it's better than most such collections I've read, but I like it less than the other collections (russian and otherwise) I've been reading.  I don't know whether it's the translation or possibly a disproportionate number of unhappy endings (though still a minority).

But here we have Vasilisa the Beautiful visiting Baba Yaga's hut, and Marya Morevna married to Ivan and carried off by Koschei -- and other tales of Baba Yaga and Koschei.  A Snow White who merely gets lost in the woods and led back by a fox.  "Go I Know Not Whither, Bring Back I Know Not What" -- where the hero is sent off so that the tsar can get at his wife.  "The Sea King and Vasilisa the Wise" where Vasilisa the Wise is his eldest daughter and turns, like all her sisters, into a spoon bill.  And many more.
Tags: fairy tale reviews

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