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The Review Marina

Literature Meme Russian/Slavic Folk Tales

Russia has a very rich folk tale tradition. Stories range from heroes saving maidens from the clutches of Kochei the Deathless to foxes tricking wolves into doing all the work for them. Seeking to find the essence of a nation’s spirit, Russian folklore started to be collected by scholars and systematically studied in the 19th century. Russian folk fairy tales were cataloged  then by Alexander Afanasyev. In Russian, the designation for stories concerning the marvelous is skazka, meaning simply “story.” Russian fairy tales are separated into numerous categories—volshebniyi skazki, or “magical tales,”skazki o zhivotnykh, or “tales about animals,” and bytovye skazki, or “tales of everyday life,” to name only a few of the myriad varieties. x