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Alexander Afanasyev and his works

What books are read almost from tapes? Of course, fairy tales. These are the very first stories that parents tell their children. From them we learn the first lessons: good is stronger than evil, it always wins. And although the way sometimes is not easy, but you can not give up and you need to believe in yourself and your strength. Wise, kind fairy tales are a huge world that opens to the child from the first days of life.

He learns to think, to distinguish bad from good, to evaluate the actions of fairy-tale heroes. Fairy tales prepare a child for adulthood, teach how to behave in this vast world. When the conversation is about a fairy tale, it is impossible not to remember the great "storyteller" - Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev, because without him we would not have known "Repki", "Kurochka Ryaba" or "Kolobka".

Life Path

Afanasyev Alexander Nikolayevich (1826-1871) was born in the Voronezh region, the city of Boguchar. The father served as a solicitor and therefore tried to give his children a good education. After graduating from the Voronezh gymnasium, Afanasyev goes to Moscow, where he enters the university. Having finished it, he teaches literature and Russian history, and one year later he enters the service in the archive.

Perhaps, it is the years of work in the archive that have become most fruitful in creative terms. Here he gets acquainted with many documents of historical value, but inaccessible to the majority. Afanasyev publishes the journal Bibliographic Notes, and the light was shown by materials related to the work of famous Russian thinkers, poets and writers. Alexander Afanasyev writes a lot, acts as a researcher and journalist. One of the few publications of these years:

  • N. I. Novikov. "
  • "Russian Book Trade".
  • The Satyrs of Cantemir.
  • "Literary polemic of the last century."

What could not be published in Russia, was sent abroad and appeared in London in the almanac "Polar Star", one of the publishers of which was the Russian revolutionary AI Herzen. In 1862 Afanasyeva was dismissed from the service, accusing him of contact with the London propagandists. Alexander Afanasyev without a permanent job was several years old, and in 1865 he entered the Duma as an assistant secretary, two years later becomes secretary. A great writer died at the age of 45 from consumption.

Historical activities

A great lover of antiquity, Afanasyev explores everything that is connected with the history of Russia, acquires old manuscript books. He owns numerous works dedicated to the history of Russia, he publishes them in the journal Sovremennik (State Economy under Peter the Great, Pskov Ship's Charter, etc.). He writes reviews of historical literature in the editions of the Society for History and Antiquities at the university. He is a member of the Society of Lovers of Literature, investigates archives, acts and publishes articles on the creation of people. Under the most difficult and unfavorable conditions for him Afanasyev finished and published the main work of his life - "Poetic views of the Slavs on nature."

Literary Activity

Since 1850, Alexander Afanasyev switched entirely to studies related to folklore, mythology and ethnography of the people. His research is of great value. He reveals the distant past, the origins of the modern language. It brings to the broad masses ancient customs, beliefs, folklore and metaphors of Slavic literature. At this time he publishes more than 60 articles in numerous editions, including:

  • A study on the mythology "Grandfather of the House".
  • "Veden and the Witch."
  • "Zoomorphic deities of the Slavs."
  • "A few words about the relationship of language with folk beliefs."
  • "Pagan traditions about the island of Buyan".
  • "Russian satirical journals 1769-1774 years."

Folk Russian fairy tales

About Afanasiev's passion for fairy tales, wrote Russian literary critic and ethnographer Pypin AN In a review of the first edition of fairy tales, he noted that the comparison of fairytale motifs in Afanasyev's are successful and very marked. Nevertheless, he immediately condemned him for the fact that the author tries to give a mythical explanation to the smallest events. Chernyshevsky NG also pointed to this, but added that with Afanasyev's explanations one can not disagree.

To numerous critics, Alexander Afanasyev answered that mythology is the same science and only in that case it is possible to recreate a complete idea of the antiquity, if the slightest detail is investigated. He argued that legends, folklore, mythology are inseparable from the history of the people. Many legends are somehow connected with natural phenomena, which have no explanation, which once again confirms their mythical meaning. Misunderstanding of the scientific value of his research on mythology by critics was experienced by Afanasiev painfully.

The first collection of fairy tales

The publication of fairy tales by Afanasyev in those conditions is a kind of feat. He wrote a letter to the editor of "Otechestvennye zapiski" and asked for a place in the edition for folk tales. Explains, with the example of the Grimm brothers, that this is a valuable material that deserves interest. But the material in the magazine did not appear, since the volume, which by that time had Afanasyev, much exceeded the capabilities of the magazine.

In 1952, the Russian Geographical Society gives Afanasiev a collection of fairy tales, which he had in the archives. By that time, the writer had already had about 1000 tales given to him by VI Dalem. Both of these materials required careful processing, since they were collected by different people, the recordings differed in both quality and style. In 1855 the first edition of the "Russian Folk Tales" was published.

The fairy tales of Alexander Afanasyev were published in several editions. A total of eight issues included more than 600 titles. He selected the most interesting children's tales for publication. It was then that the readers first met with Koshchei and Baba Yaga, learned about the Firebird and Kolobok, heard about Teremka and Marya Morevna. This is the largest collection of fairy tales in the world at that time.

Classification of fairy tales

With further preparation of the material, Afanasyev thought out and classified it. He distributed the tales into sections: epic stories, mythological, animal epic, stories about sorcerers and dead, everyday tales and humorous. Later, after the death of the writer, the classification was somewhat simplified: tales of animals, social and fantasy. But it was based on the principle that Alexander Afanasyev created.

The books could not but arouse the discontent of the clergy and authorities. Censorship in every possible way interfered with the activities of Afanasyev. In the meantime, a collection of "Treasured Tales", which is anti-Church and anti-Barbarian in nature, has already appeared in Geneva. The publication of Afanasiev's collections is a great event in the social and scientific life of Russia. After its release, many well-known critics and literary critics of the time made reviews.

Forbidden Tales by Afanasyev

In addition to children's fairy tales, Afanasiev owns a collection of fairy tales for adults, published in Geneva: "Russian folk tales are not for print." The collection of "Legends, legends and parables" was also banned in Russia and was published abroad. The authorities saw in its content a harmful line of thought. It included texts about greed, stupidity, the devil, mythical monsters and evil spirit. A very valuable collection concerning the spiritual heritage of the people.

During the years of persecution by censorship, many collections were published under different names. For example, fairy tales with erotic content came out under the title: "Valaam. Year of obscurantism. " This book has been banned for a long time. In Russia it was published for the first time in 1997. A well-known collector of folklore has many works, which are published at the present time.

Therefore, they are often confused with the work of our contemporary, the pen of which belongs to the book "Zone of infection." Alexander Afanasyev is a modern writer, writing in the genre of militants. But his work is in no way connected with the tales of the great namesake, who devoted his whole life to the gathering of folklore. In total, the collection of Alexander Nikolaevich Afanasyev is about two thousand tales. He entered the history of Russian culture as the first publisher of the collection of folk tales.

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