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Russian Fairy Tales (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) Paperback – September 12, 1976
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“Rambunctious, full-blooded, and temperamental, these stories are tense with action, magical, and human. They are gorgeous.”
“The oral folk tradition in Russia was truly a magic spring [that] flowed inexhaustibly, reviving, consoling, and enlightening all who partook of it . . . These stories have an ingenuity that marks them as uniquely Russian.”
“A beautiful book. I recommend it to all readers, young and old, who are interested in the folktale and its unique qualities.”
—Isaac Bashevis Singer, The New York Times Book Review
“Luckily someone garnered these jewels before they were lost [and] bound them into one volume before they disappeared . . . It is filled with action, magic, and humanity.”
—St. Louis Globe-Democrat
From the Inside Flap
Nearly 200 characteristic and colorful traditional folk and fairy tales are brought together in the only comprehensive edition available in English. Of the original 1945 edition, Eudora Welty wrote, "These Russian tales are rambunctious, full-blooded and temperamental. They are tense with action, magical and human, and move in a kind of cyclone of speed....These tales are gorgeous."
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I knew that Fairy Tales and folk myths in original (non-Disney) form offer a frightening glimpse into the medieval world, with death, violence, starvation, hunger, privations the norm.
This is a glimpse into the history of the world and one very well worth remembering.
Some themes are similar to those one might find elsewhere, such as in Grimm's. This does not detract from the value of this book, as many themes in world literature recur, as they are part of our collective unconscious.
A fascinating read.
If you like Russian folk tales, or folk tales in general, you'll like this compilation. I haven't gone through the whole thing, but I recognized a few tales from when I was a kid like Vasilisa the Beautiful. It's illustrated, but it's more of a book/book than anything, so if you're getting it to read for your kid I'd wait until they're maybe in the 5 and above range at least.