The Complete Folktales of A. N. Afanas'ev, Volume III
The long-awaited final volume of the series dedicated to collecting tales from the Russian Grimm
Up to now, there has been no complete English-language version of the Russian folktales of A. N. Afanas’ev. This translation is based on L. G. Barag and N. V. Novikov’s edition, widely regarded as the authoritative Russian-language edition. The present edition includes commentaries to each tale as well as its international classification number. This third volume contains 305 tales, those numbered 319–579, as well as forty-five additional tales from among those denied publication by the Russian censors.
The folktales of A. N. Afanas’ev represent the largest single collection of folktales in any European language and perhaps in the world. Widely regarded as the Russian Grimm, Afanas’ev collected folktales from throughout the Russian Empire in what are now regarded as the three East Slavic languages, Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian. In his lifetime, Afanas’ev published more than 575 tales in his most popular and best-known work, Narodnye russkie skazki.
In addition to this basic collection, he prepared a volume of Russian legends, many on religious themes; a collection of mildly obscene tales, Russkie zavetnye skazki; and voluminous writings on Slavic folklife and mythology. His works were subject to the strict censorship of ecclesiastical and state authorities that lasted until the demise of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Overwhelmingly, his particular emendations were stylistic, while those of the censors mostly concerned content.
"Together, the three volumes of translations, accompanied by valuable scholarly commentary, bring the East Slavic folktale tradition into the purview of international folklorists and superbly contribute to the study of folk narrative in general and folktale scholarship in particular. . . . The Complete Folktales of A. N. Afanas’ev is an invaluable gift to English-language readers and scholars."- Victoria Somoff, Journal of American Folklore
"The Complete Folktales of A. N. Afanas’ev is an invaluable gift to English-language readers and scholars. This publication, which brings the entire folktale collection of Afanas’ev to the anglophone world, should significantly impact folktale scholarship worldwide and become one of the fundamental sources for the study of Russian folklore, literature, and culture. At the same time, thanks to Haney’s superb translations, which manage to preserve the humor, intelligence, and whimsicalness of the Russian originals, the book should appeal to the general public and folktale lovers worldwide. Its publication affirms my deep appreciation for Haney’s lifelong dedication to the oral tradition of East Slavs and my gratitude to Forrester for bringing Haney’s outstanding project to completion."- Victoria Somoff, Journal of American Folklore
"Part of the importance of Afanas’ev is that his range is broader than most of his contemporaries. . . . It is a- Jonathan Roper, Folklore
good thing that this key European folktale work is now available in English."
"The language of the translation is a pleasantly simple colloquial English that still evokes the atmosphere of the Russian tale. . . . Essential."- B. K. Beynen, CHOICE