Russian Fairytales

KeskusteluFairy Tales Retold

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Russian Fairytales

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toukokuu 22, 2008, 12:26 pm

I recently had to research russian fairytales for my russian speaking exam and wondered if anyone else was interested in russian fairytale retellings.
My current favourite books based on this topic are the secret history of moscow by Ekaterina Sedia and enchantment by Orson Scott Card. Has anyone else read them?

kesäkuu 1, 2008, 9:54 pm

I loved Enchantment. What is the name of the story it retells? I know it has Baba Yaga in it, but is it a particular tale?

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 2, 2008, 12:59 pm

Mainly sleeping beauty and I don't think there's a paticular Baba Yaga tale. There's some other Russian folklore figures as well that i hadn't previously heard of.

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 8:22 am

So is Baba Yaga a Russian fairytale character? She comes up in The Sisters Grimm series of which there are many fairytale characters introduced into a new adventure, but I'd never heard of her before. All I know is she's an evil witch since that's how she appears in The Sisters Grimm.

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 8:35 am

Baba is the diminutive of babushka, which means grandmother or old lady in Russian. Baba Yaga lives in a moving house on chicken legs and flys in a mortar and pestle. Shes sometimes evil and sometimes good, she's sometimes the fairy godmother, and other times the evil witch, but whereas in western fairytales the 2 are polar opposites, the 2 are combined in Baba Yaga. You can find some well known stories about her in Afanasev's collections.
I did my russian AS oral on her and koshei the deathless last year.

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 8:43 am

She's in a moving house on chicken legs in The Sisters Grimm series too, but I've not seen a good side to her so far. She's the ultimate in evil the way she tells the sisters what she'd like to do to them. Looked up Aleksandr Afanasev quickly and am going to add Russian Fairy Tales to my must reads. Are there any modern fairytales you know of with Baba Yaga in them?

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 9:10 am

I only know of enchantment and the sisters grimm series. and I just did a tag search for Baba Yaga and the dream stealer by Gregory Maguire looks good.

In Vasillissa the Beautiful, Vasillissa is sent away by her evil stepmother and sisters into the woods to get a candle from Baba Yaga's. Baba yaga sets her impossible tasks, which she completes with the help of her magic doll given to her by her mother. In return, Baba Yaga gives her a glowing skull, and when she takes it home, it burns her stepmother and stepsisters to ashes, allowing her to live happily ever afetr.
Its in tales like that where it's unclear whether she's the good guy or the bad guy.

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 9:51 am

Thanks. Have added that to my must reads as well. Have two by him on my shelf that I've yet to read actually - Wicked, plus Mirror, Mirror. Have you read any by him before?

I see what you mean by the good and bad in Vasillissa the Beautiful since it took evil to achieve the happiness.

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 11:52 am

Last month I went into a charity shop and found several books by him for 75p each!! They were american as well, and they had the covers I prefer. I've read wicked and it's sequel son of a witch, I liked the former but found the latter tedious. I've also read confessions of an ugly stepsister which I liked, and mirror mirror which I did like but not as much. They are very different takes on how the stories are normally retold. For example, mirror mirror is set in renaissance Italy, as opposed to a snowy northern forest.
I've also read what the dickens, which is not a retold fairytale, but a children's book about tooth fairies and I think I probably enjoyed it more than any of his adult books:)

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 1, 2009, 1:39 pm

Charity shops and secondhand bookstores are my fave haunts on trips to England. I fill my two suitcases and backpack with as many books (and two huge bags of teabags) that I can squish in for the weight allowance, and end up having to leave some in boxes at my parents' house because I've always got too many. My mum's always nagging me about how she's running out of space coz I've got several boxfuls stored in a cupboard, plus another under one of the beds that I don't think she's discovered yet. They're so hard to resist when I see good ones though. Just wish I could squish them all in. My fave charity shop of all is an Oxfam in a nearby town. Oh but the treats you can get there for a bargain. :)

My plan is to read both the books I have by Gregory Maguire this year, then take others out from the library if I really like them. They seem pretty popular so hopefully they have them all. Other than Wicked and Mirror, Mirror, I'm most interested in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales, and The Dream Stealer.

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 3:19 pm

The problem with oxfam bookshops(not the general oxfam shops) is that the staff are all trained, and they know if a book is worth something or not. My favourite charity shop is my local Isobel Hospice. My friend's mum works there, and she always sneaks up on me and says suddenly, 'are you buying MORE books?!' Makes me jump everytime.

maaliskuu 1, 2009, 5:23 pm

There's a promising retelling of the Baba Yaga story coming out in April, in Canongate's Myth Series. It's called "Baba Yaga Laid an Egg" by Dubravka Ugresic. I can't wait...

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 1, 2009, 5:41 pm

Msg 11: This Oxfam branch is very organized so I'm not surprised really. They have tons of books in it though. They have two shops next to one another with one totally devoted to books so who can resist? :D
Msg 12: Looked it up, Malinblue, and you're right. It does look promising. have added it to my library. Thanks for the tip. :)

maaliskuu 2, 2009, 4:02 am

Baba Yaga laid an egg does look good, it's added to my wishlist thanks:)

lokakuu 15, 2009, 11:56 pm

I really liked Fortune's Fool by Merecedes Lackey, which takes a lot from Russian fairy tales, including Baba Yaga. It's my favorite of the 500 Kingdom series so far.

I'm adding Enchantment and The Secret History of Moscow to me reading list because of you guys, so thank you!

lokakuu 16, 2009, 1:12 am

Firebird by R. Garcia Robertson is an interesting take on multiple Russian folktales.

lokakuu 16, 2009, 2:08 am

I recently picked up a copy of Rusalka by C. J. Cherryh which looks to be based on Russian folklore, but I haven't read it yet. Anyone else read it?

syyskuu 7, 2010, 9:42 am

I just added one of my art books to LT, and it qualifies here. (and discovered there is a Volume II which my library system does NOT have! Harumph!)

I collect antique and interesting buttons, and I have several painted paper mache Russian buttons that sometimes depict folk stories, so I was glad to come across this author - Lucy Maxym.

Russian Lacquer, Legends and Fairy Tales recounts the stories, if not in an artistic way, but the paintings are georgeous.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 7, 2010, 4:30 pm

tammikuu 28, 2011, 1:01 pm

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente looks pretty amazing, but it's only coming out in March. (Tor has an excerpt here.) Thanks for all the recommendations!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 29, 2011, 12:21 pm

Arthur Ransom's Old Peter's Russian Tales retells some typical Russian folktales with a linking narrative involving Old Peter and his young audience of two. Arthur Ransome, as well as being author of the highly popular Swallows and Amazons series, was also reputed to have been a spy in Russia during the Bolshevek Revolution, but the Society dedicated to his name thinks this unlikely.

helmikuu 2, 2011, 5:36 pm

Patricia McKillip's In the Forests of Serre has a Baba Yaga-like character in it, and it's a novel I enjoyed - not my favourite McKillip, but still good!