miércoles, 15 de julio de 2009


He was born in Russia in 1895. There, in St Petersburg precisely, at Petrograd State University, he started studying Russian and German philology in 1914, but it was not until 1938 than he decided to get totally involved in a research destinated to the analysis of Russian fairy tales when he took part in the Department of Russian Literature.
Influenced by a strong Russian Formalist approach,meaning analysing structures of a sentence that are broken into smaller elements with meaning -morphemes-, he proposed applying this approach in 100 folktales in order to compare the results.He spotted the complexity of wonder tales an their variants so that he, as from dividing the tales into smaller narrative units/elements, or narratemes, could hold that:
a. there are generally 31 functions(click here to see them)
in the whole plot and,
b. the kind of characters that typically appear are seven- the villain, the donor, the (magical) helper, the princess and her father, the dispatcher, the hero or victim/seeker hero and the false hero- .
A further characteristic about characters is that it is possible to find them in not only literature but also television, films and theatre .
All these features based on structuralist ideas were published in his book Morphology of the Folktale in 1928; other three works that followed the same tendency were also released, The Historical Roots of Fairy-Tale (1946), Russian Heroic Epics (1958), and Russian Agrarian Feast-days (1963).
He died in 1970 in the same place where he was born.

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