Read Russian Fairy Tales by Alexander Afanasyev Ivan Bilibin Online


A richly illustrated collection of Russian folk tales: Vasilisa the Beautiful; Maria Morevna; The Feather of Finist the Falcon; The Frog-Tsarevna; Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf. The illustrations included in this edition were created in the early 20th century by Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin — a famous Russian illustrator and stage designer, who was inspired byA richly illustrated collection of Russian folk tales: Vasilisa the Beautiful; Maria Morevna; The Feather of Finist the Falcon; The Frog-Tsarevna; Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf. The illustrations included in this edition were created in the early 20th century by Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin — a famous Russian illustrator and stage designer, who was inspired by Slavic folklore throughout his career. He was a prominent figure in the artistic movement Mir Iskusstva and contributed to the Ballets Russes. The tales were recorded by the renowned folklorist Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev (1826–1871), who collected and published more than 600 Russian folk tales in the middle 19th century....

Title : Russian Fairy Tales
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781908478689
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 90 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Russian Fairy Tales Reviews

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-09-17 15:49

    Народные русские сказки = Russian Fairy Tales = Russian Folk Tales, Alexander Afanasyev عنوانها: قصه های شیرین پریان؛ عروسک سخنگو؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و پنجم سپتامبر سال 1998 میلادیعنوان: عروسک سخنگو؛ نویسنده: الکساندر آفانیسیف؛ مترجم: علی سلامی؛ تهران، نشر دانش آموز، 1376، در120 ص؛ شابک: 9645671558؛ چاپ دوم: نوای مدرسف، 1391، شابک: 9789642874668؛ موضوع: داستانهای کودک و نوجوان از نویسندگان روسی قرن 19 ما. شربیانی

  • oh carlyn what key
    2018-10-13 12:06

    seriously there is nothing more weird and bewildering and beautiful than russian fairy tales. first of all the titles are incredible. "if you don't like it, don't listen" is a classic example. the way they end is my favorite part. often the story is clipped short by: "i was there, i drank mead with the king and it got in my beard but did not spill into my mouth." or other such brilliance. and baba yaga and her chicken-leg hut? don't even get me started.

  • Serena W. Sorrell
    2018-10-16 12:03

    Hmm. Well. I liked half of the stories? But they got very samey after a while. And boy oh boy, are the names Ivan and Vasilisa ever popular. All the Baba Yagas and creepy wooden dolls were the best. Also that gray wolf was a chill guy~ and why aren't women freaking out about falcons flying into their rooms and turning into beautiful men, or is this just something that happens in Russia?

  • rae
    2018-10-13 16:57

    i am a sucker for fairy tales in general, but this collection gives me insight into gogol's imaginative workings... absurdities, odd, cruel, dry humor... and excellent illustrations to boot...

  • Sandra
    2018-09-18 17:59

    The synopsis for this particular edition is, for some reason, in English instead of in Dutch - the reason I mention this is because the Dutch edition only includes 50 fairytales, and not the 200 promised in the English synopsis.Russia has always interested me greatly, but I personally haven't gotten around reading any of the great classics just yet. I grew up with Russian folk songs (especially when a certain Belgian guy by the name of Helmut Lotti decided to record them as well), my mom loves Russia and the Romanovs, so I must have gotten it from her. Still, I have zero reading experience when it comes to Russian works.I love fairytales, so when I saw a cheap copy of this particular book, I figured it was time to get some Russian-related reading done. Reading fairytales is always interesting, because as long as the fairytales are European (and maybe this is a global thing, but I've only read European fairytales so far) there are many parallels that can be drawn. Stories that have the same premise, or the same build-up. You find a couple of those stories in here, too. I'm not one to take notes while reading (that makes it look a bit too much like a homework assignment, something I actually try actively to avoid when reading for fun), so I can't tell you exactly which story shares what characteristic with a certain other famous fairytale, but I do remember very clearly that one story had the same opening as Beauty and the Beast (at least, the version the 1946 French and the 1978 Czech version are based on). The rest of the story differs slightly, but the parallels are there. That's just the one example however, there are many more!Another thing that's quite curious about these fairytales is the insane amount of repetition. Character names are repeated a lot (Wassilissa, Iwan [without luck], etc.). There seems to be a theme of Tsars marrying merchant's daughters, the Baba Jaga makes frequent appearances, there are many magical devices (e.g. a little doll) which can make or do anything in just one night, and it's constantly stressed that the morning is wiser than the evening. So yes, loads of repetition. But then I suppose that's a fairytale characteristic, though I never noticed it quite as clearly as I did now.Overall, quite an enjoyable read.

  • *Jinglemarco - Маркуша - Мишутка (Nursery rhymes enthusiast)*
    2018-09-26 12:17

    Dopo mesi di ricerche ho scoperto (credo che sia così) che la fiaba Masha e l'Orso non è stata trascritta da Afanasyev', bensì da Mikhail Bulatov. Questo dettaglio rende la presente raccolta vagamente mendace ai miei occhi, in quanto è come se fosse composta da due diversi libri, uno della sola fiaba a cui la copertina è dedicata e l'altro una collezione non completa e tradotta in modo un pò impreciso dell'autore che viene considerato il Grimm russo. Alla luce di queste riflessioni non sono più esattamente dell'idea rispecchiata dalle mie parole che seguono... -°-°-Non ho terminato di leggere esattamente tutte le fiabe contenute in questa raccolta, ma in generale posso dire che consiglio assolutamente la lettura e acquisto di questo libro perchè è economico, di bell'aspetto e la traduzione è abbastanza buona, se non decisamente buona. La mia fiaba russa preferita è Masha e l'Orso (un dettaglio linguistico: la O maiuscolo di Orso è perfetta in quanto, sebbene in russo la M di medved' sia minuscola, rappresenta il nome della specie, ma anche il nome proprio dell'animale, che ne è altrimenti privo), ed è la prima della raccolta e offre l'immagine di copertina, che non è un'immagine del cartone animato basato (seppur con differenze) sulla fiaba, ma una versione simile. Amo le fiabe su bambini e orsi! Ma mi piace anche la fiaba Vasilisa la Bella, che è la mia seconda fiaba russa preferita. Poi, e quì devo concentrarmi sulla nota dolente, mi piacciono anche le diverse fiabe sulla Snegurochka (Banbina di neve) e il Nonno Gelo, ma nessuna delle storie riguardanti queste due figure è presente. Non è perciò una raccolta completa, questa, ma è comunque una raccolta corposa. Molte storie si rassomigliano, e io avrei scelto solo le più belle tra queste per lasciare posto a quelle sui due personaggi invernali, o alla palla di pane, Kolobok, che è la versione russa del Gingerbread Man. Non posso attribuire cinque stelle a questo libro perchè, anche se è soddisfacente, non lo è abbastanza... ma quattro stelle, considerando i diversi fattori citati, gliele elargisco volentieri. -°-°-°-Che cosa carina che il nuovo cartone animato del momento ha origini in una fiaba russa, non come quello schifo abominevole della maialina ritardata Peppa Rincoglionita Pig. Credo che prima o poi mi procurerò questo volume. :)

  • Janet
    2018-10-05 13:51

    This is a vast compendium of folk tales (no fairies, really, in Russian folklore)... but they seem often to be the same story with various character configurations, having a hard time 'feeling' the subject matter. Think this is going to be more of a reference book than a 'read'. Think I'd enjoy a more realized version of the stories--like in individual picture books. *************As I go along, I find it's more engaging. I've found a better tempo, slower rather than faster. **************Russian folk tales are complex and their impact unfolds gradually--there's no way to summarize these stories, hardly a way to keep them separate in my head. I've tried to tell them to people in a sentence or two. Impossible. There's not only three princes, three suitors, the sorcerer figure, the lover-queen, princess, old people in the forest with an only daughter, woodcutters and firebirds and talking fish and magical horses, and all of the animals in the forest, each with their legendary personalities-- but one on top of the other--plus, of course, the terrible Baba Yaga in her hut on chicken legs. I WANT THIS IN AN ILLUSTRATED EDITION!!! I'll never be done with it, want to see all the operas and ballets based on these stories. What a treasure, such a different feel than Grimm. The 'morals' to the stories are very different, often the very opposite of the German. Fascinating on the narrative end, and as a look into the culture and mind-set of the preliterate, oral culture of Russia. Such cultures don't die when the more sophisticated, modern ones come in, they live one inside the other inside the other, like nesting dolls.

  • Monica
    2018-09-16 17:03

    This is a collection Russian Fairy Tales. There is love, death, and betrayal, as with all good tales.The narrative is detailed, vivid, often emotional, and evocative.Characters are sometimes emotional, caring, and humorous.Overall, a fun read.

  • hanna
    2018-09-19 18:53

    Dnf 102/189 stories.

  • Irene Lazlo
    2018-10-02 11:54

    (Ups, me olvidé de escribir una reseña antes).He disfrutado mucho leyendo estos cuentos tradicionales rusos. Me ha gustado establecer relaciones entre los cuentos de Rusia y los cuentos de hadas centroeuropeos de Andersen y los hermanos Grimm, tienen elementos en común como el hecho de que las cosas ocurran de tres en tres, los príncipes y princesas y los animales que hablan entre otras muchas cosas. Pero lo mejor ha sido ver los elementos que tienen en común los cuentos rusos entre sí: los personajes de Iván el tonto, Vasilisa la sabia o Baba Yaga aparecen constantemente. También los libros mágicos, las pelotas que indican el camino y algunas formulas como: "pasado un tiempo, no se sabe si mucho o poco" o "en un reino trasmontano" equivalentes a nuestro "érase una vez" o "comieron perdices". Sé que estos cuentos tienen una edición con ilustraciones de Iván Bilibin que es quizá el mejor ilustrador de cuentos rusos, pero mi edición con ilustraciones de A. Kurkin me gusta mucho porque sabe mantener un estilo pictórico muy fiel a la tradición rusa.

  • Katie
    2018-09-24 11:11

    Wish there were more of them...

  • Diana Laura
    2018-09-29 18:05

    Recuerdo que en mi infancia vi algunas adaptaciones de cuentos rusos y esos dibujos se me hacían hermosos y ahora como quería leer algo distinto y no soy de leer cuentos le di la oportunidad a este libro que recopila las historias mas populares de dicho lugar.No se como sentirme al respecto porque muchas de estas historias no se las leería a mis hijos en dado caso que los tenga esto basado en mi propia manera de ser claro esta, pero en general hay historias buenas y otras que pasaron sin pena y gloria al momento de leerlas, lo cual resulta en una verdadera lástima.

  • Jude
    2018-10-06 17:03

    This collection of tales was written, or rather, recorded by renowned Russian folklorist Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev in the mid-19th century. The book contains some of the best-known Russian folktales, including: Vasilisa the Beautiful; The Feather of Finist the Falcon; The Frog-Tsarevna; and Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf.Of all the characters I came across in this volume, and there are a few who feature in more than one tale, I was particularly taken by Baba Yaga.Baba Yaga is a cannibalistic witch who lives in a small wooden hut at the edge of the forest. Now, this description may not seem so different from a lot of other witches in children’s stories, but Baba Yaga has so many fantastic quirks, the likes of which I would never have imagined. Her hut stands on hen’s legs, and will only lower itself to permit entry when in receipt of a certain rhyme. It is also surrounded by a picket fence adorned with the skulls of Baba Yaga’s victims, the eye sockets of which glow in the night. Instead of a broomstick, Baba Yaga travels through the forest in a giant mortar, driving herself forward with a pestle in her right hand, while sweeping the forest floor with a broom in her left hand. Oh and she is also often followed by spirits.I love her.Having no familiarity with Russian folklore prior to this, I feel the collection gave a good introduction to some of the most famous characters in Russian folk literature. It’s a beautiful volume, and some of the illustrations are so elaborate I feel I could have spent hours studying them.Originally posted on Jade the Obscure

  • Katrina
    2018-10-15 12:17

    This collection is a bit of a mixed bag. The illustrations alone - full page, full color - make this book worth owning (although I wish I'd gotten the hardcover) and it's fascinating to see the Russian versions of some classic folk tales. Plus there's an intriguing underlayer in some of the stories, where the women have full control over when and whom they choose to marry ("consent" is a sadly unusual word for fairy tales), and where a woman is the one to ride off to battle, leaving her husband behind to tend the castle. "Maria Morevna" is my favorite of the bunch, with clever narrative choices that made it a highly enjoyable read. Unfortunately, this all goes astray in the last two tales. In "The Frog-Tsarevna," the boy gets the fairy-girl by literally catching her about the throat, holding onto her as she transforms into various creatures, then breaking her in half. This is an explicit portrait of domination and ownership that isn't surprising in fairy tale traditions but was a disappointment after the female agency shown in the previous tales. The final tale, "Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf," was a retelling of a story I've seen in a variety of forms. It was fairly dull, since Ivan did nothing of value to show his worth, and the wolf did all the work and received none of the glory. I did like the wolf, though. It's enough to make me consider yet another fairy tale retelling with the wolf in the hero's role.

  • Insania
    2018-10-15 13:56

    Afanasjev spese l'intera sua vita raccogliendo le antiche fiabe che si faceva raccontare dalle anziane bocche di tutta la Russia. La collezione che è pervenuta sino a noi è sterminata: ma non è tanto la quantità delle fiabe ad impressionare, quanto la loro straordinaria capacità di evocare nel lettore una Russia d'altri tempi, ricostruita tramite l'immaginario popolare folcloristico del tempo.Potenti e sinistre baba yaghe, bellissime principesse, sagge fanciulle, intrepidi contadini, principi dotati di gran saggezza e incommensurabile forza, dominano la scena assieme ad animali magici capaci di cavare dagli impicci più gravosi i protagonisti.Si rimane sempre meravigliati quando si conclude la lettura di un'antica fiaba russa. La morale tradizionale che permea le favole o le storie tradizionali della nostra letteratura è quasi del tutto assente; i finali non sempre sono a lieto fine né prevedibili; spesso si assiste a episodi di mal celata misogenia o ingiustizia. Tuttavia, la carica allusiva, profonda di ogni immagine narrata trasporta in una dimensione ancestrale che viene avvertita sempre come autentica, vicina, già insita come primigenia in noi.E' nell'umida terra che i personaggi possono attuare stupefacenti metamorfosi; è in terre lontane e sconosciute che si rivela la vera natura del carattere. Leggendo i resti di quella che era la cultura contadina non solo veniamo a contatto col folclore di un mondo che fu, ma con le radici che ancora sono in noi stessi.

  • Kate
    2018-09-20 15:55

    An excellent starting point for anyone interested in fairy tales from non-western cultures; the differences between these and Grimm's are plainly apparent, but they're still familiar enough to be approachable without much need of explanation or introduction. There's a pretty broad mix of theme, and nearly all are appropriate for young children. I first ran across this book in a teacher's yard sale, and it's been a fast favourite ever since. I can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Laura
    2018-09-29 11:14

    Mi Infancia

  • Ariel
    2018-10-08 17:11

    man the Russians are depressing!

  • Danelle
    2018-09-30 18:14

    Russian folk tales, like most other fairy and folk tales were an oral tradition. The interesting thing re: Russian fairy tales is that they were first recorded and published in English, in England. This is the 4th(?) compilation of folk/fairy tales I've read. There are similarities across cultures in their fairy tales - most are associated with the stories of the Grimm brothers, as they are the most widely known: talking stoves, witches, talking animals (who all promise to help the human if their lives are spared - and do), kings with 3 sons who need to make their fortunes (the youngest one always a simpleton), kings with 3 daughters who need rescuing, quests to win the love of someone, magic rings, treasures hidden, etc. etc. There are also stories with warnings and advice. This is especially true of the Russian tales. In one story, a youth is advised: "Keep cool, use your judgement, don't cut off a head." (p. 291) In another story, one is warned: "You are bragging before you have jumped the ditch." And, in many of the stories, one is reminded: "The morning is wiser than the evening." Examples are made of those who "lie on the stove" (are lazy) and promise one that they will "roll in the butter" (live well) if they are honest and hardworking. Punishment in most of the stories consisted of being tied to a horse and dragged to death in an open field.Some of the stories' titles were gems: The Snotty Goat, If You Don't Like It, Don't Listen, and Go I Know Not Wither, Bring Back I Know Not What. Some of the tales end abruptly with the teller promising: "The tale will continue; for the time being it is ended." Many of the tales end at a wedding feast, where the narrator drinks much beer, but it ran down their mustache and didn't go in their mouth. And among the advice and warnings, there was humor, too. In one story a simpleton rides a horse without a rump for 3 years until he "happens upon the rump in a meadow." In another a prince and princess are stolen away by the Bear King. They escape on a "bullock"; when the bear catches up to them, "the bullock strained and pasted the bear's eyes shut with dung," necessitating the bear to leave chase and go wash his face. There's also a Russian version of the gingerbread boy, with a bun who sings to distract the animals after him and rolls away. (Spoiler - the fox gets him in the end.) In another story, a seven-year-old tells the tsar: "I am not worthy to go to the solemn feast; I get drunk in taverns and wallow on the floor." (p. 90) And then, later, he says, "Eh, you youths, my companions! Take the lovely maidens by their hands, lead them to your tents, and do what you know how to do." (p. 92) (WTH?!)This is a hefty volume. Don't plan to read it all at once. I began it in February and just finished it last night. As many of the stories in this collection say: "Speedily a tale is spun, with much less speed, a deed is done."

  • Doria
    2018-10-06 15:12

    Beautiful collection of Russian fairy tales, recounted in traditional style and adorned with evocative black and white illustrations. The narratives in this collection are almost entirely fairy tales, meaning that they mostly have to do with magic and fantasy, albeit in Russian style: travel to magical kingdoms to fight dragons, the rescue of princesses, colloquies with talking fish and impossible tasks set by Baba Yaga. Women often suffer at the hands of men in these stories, particularly the women who rebel against the spouses assigned to them. Princesses are often clever, but rarely able to effect their own individual agency; when they do, they are usually ruthlessly punished. There is no proto-feminist ethos to be found among these pages. The tales are drawn as if from a vault from the past, untouched by contemporary values or imagery. There is a raw, rough quality in evidence, despite the elevated tone and language which many of them affect.There is a fair amount of stylistic and motivic repetition from tale to tale, as honored formulas are passed down and scrupulously - or ritually - respected. It is in the dialogue portion of the stories where the distinctively Russian character of the narratives is made to shine. There is an acerbic, almost clipped quality to most of the exchanges, despite the obligatory use of repeated phrases, all subtly underscored by a sort of wry, mocking humor. When a hapless or witless hero is assigned an impossible task, he generally resorts to drink, tears and prayer - not always in that order. His mother or wife or companion (there is always one of these) next assures our Ivan (the stock name for Russian heroes) that things will improve in the morning, and this is invariably found to be the case. The response to adversity is often a shrug, followed by a swig of vodka. Things generally work out for Ivan, but usually only after a great deal of long travel and repetitive tasks; whereupon the unnamed narrator reminds the listener that it's been a while since his last drink. The formula is set, yet the style is satisfying.

  • Julenka
    2018-09-23 17:00

    I thought it would be a good idea to get an illustated copy of the most popular classic russian folk tales, that I knew by heart when I was a kid and have already completely forgotten about by now. Turns out, russian folk tales are at least the same amount of disturbing as the Grimm's one, if not a bit more. I have to admit, I still love them. These are the stories that I grew up with and the magic in them is somehow very different to the one in the western ones... Also, I love the fact that the tales have a pattern of things happening three times - I used to love this as a kid too. It gives the story this extra something... that you know exactly, this is a tale and not real life as a kid, if you know what Imean. Also, as I remeber now, somehow when I was little I understood the logic in these tales way better. I mean, someone gets brutally murdered because he did something wrong? Then a bird arrives and brings you back to life with different kinds of water? Sure. Nothing disturbing in that at all...But reading the tales again today being a grown up (or at least a bit more than back in the good old days...) I can't get over the fact that I ... well and basically all of the children who grew up in the russian culture were raised with these stories. I don't want to start mentioning some of the biggest issues that I have with these tales concerning the treating of female characters, because sure, this was another time and that's why we can't expect any equality. But should we really still be reading such books to our children nowadays without some deep reflexion on what's going on there? Maybe these are good to start discussing today's rolemodels with the kids at an early age already.In most of the tales I can't even detect any kind of moral or anything except for something like "Don't worry, if anything bad should happen to you, some living object or animal will help you out so that you don't have to overcome your problems on your own" or "Stealing is totally ok if someone else told you to do it" or "If you want to kill an animal and it tells you not to, it means something awful is gonna happen to you very soon and that animal will come in handy to help you out, so you better don't kill it now". Or that you always, aaalways should carry some mertwaja and zhiwaja woda with you, because there is actually a very high chance on being brutally chopped into pieces and of course you want to be resurrected and think that you just have been dreaming for a while. To say something positive about this edition, the illustrations are lovely and will give you all the russian feels that you long for while you read these folk tales.

  • Federico
    2018-10-14 10:54

    Cuentos no tan de hadas en algunos casos sino mas bien con toques un poco oscuros. Ya empezando con el clásico había tres hermanos y/o hermanas y donde el mas joven resulta ser siempre el que logra todo y se queda con todo. En el caso de ellos es el mas valiente etc, y en el caso de ellas la mas bonita etc, (me pregunto porque siempre es el mas chico/a y no el de en medio o el mayor para variar, pero en fin), los animales tienen un rol importante y una intensa participación en algunos cuentos ya que ayudan al protagonista muchaas veces por algún favor o por buena voluntad, hay también brujas en la forma de Baba Yaga un personaje que me pareció muy interesante que aunque perverso (se come a la gente) no siempre es tan malvado, a veces ayuda o te envía con sus hermanas curiosamente iguales a ella para que lo hagan, mostrando facetas opuesta entre si, a diferencia de la clásicas brujas en donde puede haber una mala y otra buena, Baba Yaga parece contener un poco de ambas siendo sabia y dando consejos o bien cruel y matando.

  • Michael Haase
    2018-10-09 11:50

    Though this is an extremely short edition of Afanasyev's fairy tale collection, neither containing some of his most famous fables, like "Ilya Muromets and the Dragon" or "The Wise Girl", nor depicting Bilibin's later works, this book is still a valuable possession, simply for what it is. It includes 7 abridged fables beside several stunning illustrations. The fables I detest wholeheartedly, but they're useful for learning Russian, and no one can deny the beauty of Bilibin's artwork.

  • Melissa Mikush
    2018-10-15 14:53

    Read this book from beginning to end, and may I suggest post-it notes so that you can mark your favorites? Otherwise, they all start to blend together. Many of the same themes and motifs found in other fairy tales: good v. evil, princess turns into an animal, trickery, etc. My favorite saying I hadn't read before? " I was there, I drank mead with the king and it got in my beard but did not spill into my mouth." An extensive collection of Russian fairy tales.

  • Leanna
    2018-10-04 13:01

    A true compendium of Russian fairy tales, I just wish there was more context provided.

  • Gayathiri Rajendran
    2018-09-20 11:53

    This is my first time reading Russian Fairytales and the stories were quite good. The illustrations of the book were excellent but after a point of the time all the stories started sounding the same. A good one time read for beginners.

  • Renée Poffley
    2018-10-03 11:01

    This Russian imagining of “Little Brother and Little Sister” by Aleksandr Afanas’ev, a renowned Russian ethnographer, has simultaneously more well-rounded characters and less connection between minor characters. It contains the fairy tale motif of three, a sorceress, an enchanted baby goat kid, a king, a bizarre drowning, and a happy ending.It begins with siblings who have recently been orphaned by their parents, who happened to be king and queen. In spite of this fact, they are alone and wandering when they come across a pond that Alionushka (a very common name in Russian fairy tales) suspects is enchanted to turn people into calves because of a nearby herd of cows; she tells her brother not to drink. The next five ponds they come to are also enchanted, and at the last Brother drinks and turns into a kid. He runs into the garden of a king, who wants to marry Sister right away. The king, Sister, and the kid live happily until one day, while the king is out hunting, a sorceress casts a spell on the queen to make her weak, and then tricks her into coming to the sea, where the sorceress ties a stone around the queen’s neck and adopts her likeness. The sorceress then tricks the king into slaughtering the kid; the kid runs to the sea three times and cries for his sister to help him. The last time, the king follows him and unties the stone from his wife’s neck. The sorceress is burned at the stake, but this doesn’t transform the kid back into a human. However, the king, queen, and kid live happily from then on.The Russian version of this story focuses more heavily on emotions than Grimm’s version. For example, when her brother is changed into a kid, Alionushka sheds “tears, bitter tears,” and the king and kid are both “overjoyed” to save the queen. The last line also focuses on exactly how they live happily: “to prosper and to eat and to drink together as before” (p. 410). However, though the main characters seem more connected than in other fairy tales, the sorceress comes out of nowhere and has no real motive for cursing Alionushka, and the enchanted ponds also have no known source. Although it makes little sense, it still makes for a very interesting story.

  • Gijs Grob
    2018-10-13 19:04

    Selectie uit de door Afanasjev verzamelde en opgetekende Russische volkssprookjes. Deze onderscheiden zich van de West-Europese volkssprookjes door typische regelmatig terugkerende figuren: de heks Baba Jaga, die in een hut op kippenpoten woont, dat 'verkeerd staat', zich voortbeweegt in een vijzel en die soms een of meer dochters heeft, en Kosjtsei de onsterfelijke, wiens dood zich op een schier onvindbare plaats bevindt. Gek genoeg zien de sprookjesvertellers er geen been in om deze twee vaste figuren keer op keer hun einde te laten vinden. Daarnaast komen er nogal wat tsarenzonen voor die Iwan heten en mooie, verre prinsessen die Wassilissa de wijze heten, alsook drie-, zes- en twaalfkoppige draken, koperen, zilveren en gouden rijken, valken 'met een wakkere blik' en kluwentjes waar je achter aan moet lopen.Met deze elementen wordt er in de wijdlopige en grillige sprookjes eindeloos gevarieerd, zodat ze een beetje lezen als variaties op een thema. Dat levert wonderlijke verhalen op, maar ook veel herhalingen, die soms dicht tegen clichés aan beginnen te leunen, zij het dan clichés van een verder volslagen onbekende traditie.

  • Mary Catelli
    2018-10-13 16:08

    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.

  • Diane
    2018-09-22 11:56

    This is the largest, most comprehensive collection of Russian fairy tales I have come across. Jeremiah Curtin used similar tales in his "Myths and Folk Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and Magyars," which was published in 1903. However, he edited the tales to make them more suitable for his Western audience. I have read other versions of these tales - "Vasilisa the Fair," "Baba Yaga," "Maria Morevna," etc. - but it is nice to read the original versions. This is a large volume, and you can skip around as much as you like without really missing anything. I do not know if children will like this volume. Personally, I don't think it's child-friendly - the paragraphs can be long (half a page or more at times), the names are often unpronounceable for those of us who don't know Russian, and there are no illustrations. The stories can be quite sad and even dark, though there is no sex or profanity.