Svetlana B. Adoneva. Skazochnyi tekst i traditsionnaia kul'tura [The Text of the Tale and Traditional Culture]. St. Petersburg: Izdatel'stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, 2000. 183 pp
tekst i traditsionnaia kul'tura [The Text of the Tale and Traditional Culture]. St. Petersburg: Izdatel'stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, 2000. 183 pp. As the title suggests, this book explores the Russian folktale (specifically the magic tale, the volshebnaia skazka) and its relationship to traditional culture. Since this question has often been ignored or overlooked by Russian folklorists, this new study is a welcome addition to Russian folktale scholarship. In her first chapter,
... investigates the logical structure of folktale narrative. She finds that every event in the folktale is the result of a character's activity, the expression of a will, or the response to such an act. Thus the folktale character typically acts in response to a communication. Adoneva proposes a typology of several kinds of dialogic folktale interactions. More interestingly, she feels that the narrative consists of pairs of actions, related as cause and effect. These pairs of actions do not, however, form a longer "causal chain." Next, Adoneva discusses the nature of space and time in the magic tale. For this narrative world, space and time are not neutral categories, but are experienced subjectively, and values are attributed to them accordingly. In her third chapter she discusses the nature of folkloric discourse. She identifies two narrative modes, one denotative and profane, and the other sacred, in which a word, image, or act can also stand for a number of related ideas or concepts. Adoneva argues that the distinguishing feature of the magic tale, and what makes it an "artistic" text (unlike the texts of memorates, fabulates, or incantations) is the fact that it is simultaneously profane and sacred, employing both narrative modes. Adoneva relates the features of the magic tale to what she describes as a traditional mentality. Looking at various superstitions, she finds that they always imply meaningful, intentional signs, an active will, and an actor with intentions; unusual events do not "just happen."