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Russian Folktales from the Collection of A. Afanasyev: A Dual-Language Book (Dover Dual Language Russian) [Paperback]

Sergey Levchin , Alexander Afanasyev
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

27 Jun 2014 048649392X 978-0486493923 Bilingual
This original dual-language edition features new translations of Russian folk tales from the authoritative three-volume collection by famed author Alexander Afanasyev. A rich, robust world of the imagination that will captivate readers of all ages, this compilation's tales include The Princess-Frog, The Tale of Prince Ivan, The Firebird and the Gray Wolf, and many others.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; Bilingual edition (27 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048649392X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486493923
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Russian folklorist Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev (1826–71) recorded and published more than 600 folk and fairy tales. His first collection was published in eight volumes from 1855 to 1867. Kiev-born Sergey Levchin emigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He received his BA from St. John's College and an MA in Russian literature and linguistics from Columbia University. He is also the author of Dover's Easy Russian Phrase Book.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun and effective way to improve your Russian 30 Jun 2014
I often say to students of Russian that there is no better way to develop a feel for the Russian language - and, above all, for the difficult but expressive Russian verb - than by reading Russsian folktales. This is the perfect volume for that purpose. The translations adhere closely to the syntax of the original and so constitute a perfect guide to understanding the Russian. And Afanasyev's collection of Russian folk tales is also of extraordinary interest in itself. Along with the Brothers Grimm, and Italo Calvino's collection of Italian folktales, it is one of the greatest monuments to the oral folktale that we possess.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Russian folktales like you've never seen 'em before! 10 Jun 2014
By porbus - Published on
An excellent selection that covers a broad range of types of Russian folk tales and hangs together as a coherent portrait of the tradition as a whole. The translations are creative, to say the least -- Ezra Pound would have approved! The translator has aspired to be as imaginative in his use of the English language as the originals are in their use of Russian. Sometimes he fails, but often enough he succeeds. The results are a worthy and thought-provoking counterpart to the Russian text on the facing page. The translator has also provided a wonderfully personal introduction -- his take on the meaning and value of the material, and a pleasure to read in its own right. Indeed, not the least delightful feature of this collection is the highly personal, colorful, and engaging editorial vision behind it, something rarely encountered these days. There's no mistaking the fact that these tales were selected, translated, and introduced by a human being (as opposed to some impersonal entity) with strong tastes and developed ideas, and the book benefits enormously from this.
5.0 out of 5 stars Slaying the Dragon ain't easy but is worth a try! 2 July 2014
By Paul Lembersky - Published on
Well-chosen and finely rendered into lithe and flowing English, on occasion gingerly dipping into flavorful archaisms and the vernacular but otherwise staying entirely modern and always faithful to the original, the selection of the newly translated Russian fairy tales from Alexander Afanasyev's collection is indispensable to anyone interested in Russian literature, language and culture.

The collection's translator, Sergey Levchin in his substantive introduction to the volume touches on a number of important issues, such as the genealogy of folktales, their structure, their place within the context of the world's mythology, as well as their influence on 19th and 20th century Russian authors. The latter point is hard to overemphasize. Indeed, it wouldn't be a wild flight of fancy to imagine that Russian fairy tales were probably the first narratives ever absorbed by Russia's 19th century literary giants, as well as their 20th century heirs. Thus, the folktales in question most likely made their early and indelible mark upon the would-be authors' psyches and consequently determined their basic predilections as readers, and eventually, as writes. Think the treepartite familial structure of Dostoevsky's The Karamazov Brothers, or Chekhov's The Three Sisters, or Chichikov, the archetypal scheming errant traveler in Gogol's The Dead Souls, or Bulgakov's characters' run-ins with the Devil visiting Moscow in the 20th century classic novel The Master and Margarita - the cited examples all hark back to the tried and true structures and themes of Russian folk tales replete with shape-shifters, multifarious incarnations of the forces of evil, travelers in the underworld and the underdog do-gooders who, having paid their dues, eventually get their reward, be it the princess, the riches, the worry free life, or all of the above.

Upon reading the dual-language edition of Alexander Afanasyev's folktales which will now enjoy the new life in Sergey Levchin's deft and inventive translation, this reader was rewarded in more ways than could be told in a brief review. Not the least of which were the delight of encountering the old childhood friends all over again: the Firebird, Vasilisa, Ivan Tsarevich, the Hut standing on chicken legs, and many others; the thrill of retracing own steps as a reader of Russian tales in the original many decades ago; and lastly, a vicarious sense of joy for the new readers who will experience the whimsical world of Russian fairy tales for the first time.
5.0 out of 5 stars and this volume seems to have a good English translation ofeach of the Russian tales 18 Aug 2014
By Whatwouldnelsondo - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am learning Russian, and this volume seems to have a good English translation ofeach of the Russian tales.
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