воскресенье, 15 февраля 2009 г.

Famous russian writers -Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov

Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov (Russian: Сергей Тимофеевич Аксаков) (September 20, 1791—April 30, 1859 (OS); October 1, 1791—May 12, 1859 (NS)) was a 19th century Russian literary figure remembered for his semi-autobiographical tales of a landlord's family life, hunting, fishing, and butterfly collecting.

According to the Velvet Book, the Aksakovs trace their male line to a nephew of Haakon the Old, who settled in Novgorod in 1027. Sergey was born in Ufa, brought up in his family estate at Novo-Aksakovka, and educated at Kazan University. Having taken part in the Campaign of 1812, he settled for the quiet life of a sporting country squire in 1816. About two decades later, Aksakov moved to Moscow, where he joined the censorship department and started to publish his notes on hunting and fishing. These made him a national celebrity and won him a number of admirers, some of whom declared Aksakov superior not only to Gogol but even to Shakespeare.

In 1843 Aksakov settled in the village of Abramtsevo, which was also frequented by his Slavophile sons, Konstantin Aksakov and Ivan Aksakov. In the late 1850s he published his most enduring works, The Family Chronicle (1856) and Childhood Years of Grandson Bagrov (1858). These are reminiscences of a childhood spent in a Russian patriarchal family rather than a full-scale work of imagination. Aksakov's semi-autobiographical narratives are unmatched for their scrupulous and detailed description of the everyday life of Russian nobility.

Among his other works are a fairy tale, The Scarlet Flower, and an account of his friendship with Gogol. The Scarlet Flower was adapted into an animated feature film in the Soviet Union in 1952.


"The Scarlet Flower"

By A. Aksakov (briefly)

Once upon a time in a faraway land a merchant was preparing to set out on a long journey. This merchant had three daughters, and he asked all of them what they would like as gifts for themselves when he returned from his voyage. The first daughter requested a golden crown, and the second one wanted a crystal mirror. The third daughter asked only for "the little scarlet flower."

The merchant set out on his journey. It did not take him very long to find a beautiful golden crown and a fine crystal mirror. He had difficulty however, finding the third gift, the scarlet flower. He searched everywhere, and eventually his search led him into a magical forest. Deep within these woods there was a palace, and in its courtyard grew a beautiful flower. As the merchant drew closer to the flower he realized what it was the scarlet flower. Cautiously, the merchant picked the flower that his youngest daughter wanted so badly. Upon picking the scarlet flower he was confronted by a hideous beast, who demanded that in return for picking the flower the merchant must send one of his daughters deep into the enchanted forest, to live with the beast forever.

Upon receiving the scarlet flower, the merchant's youngest daughter agreed to go to the beast. She journeyed alone into the forest and found the castle where she would dwell forever. For a time, she lived there very happily. The beast had not revealed himself to her, and showered her daily with kindness and gifts. She started to grow quite fond of her invisible keeper, and one day asked that he show himself. The beast reluctantly gave into her plea, and just as he had feared, she recoiled in terror at the sight of him.

That night the girl had a haunting dream about her father falling deathly ill. She begged the beast to release her, so that she could visit her dying father. Touched by her concern, the beast released her on one condition - that she return to him in three days time. The girl spent some time with her father, and prepared to return to the beast in the alloted time. However, her sisters altered the time on the clocks, making her arrive late, because they were jealous of her wealth and well-being. There upon her arrival the girl was horrified at what she encountered. The beast was dead, lying there clutching her scarlet flower. Heartbroken, the girl embraced the dead beast, and declared her love for him. Having done this, she unknowingly broke the evil spell, and her beloved beast awoke, turning into a handsome prince.

They lived happily ever after.

"The Scarlet Flower"(cartoon 1952)

3 комментария:

Chernevog комментирует...

It seems many cultures have similar tales. "Beauty and the Beast" in western folk tales is very similar. Many of the "Brothers Grimm" Grimm fairy tales are very similar to Slovak stories my grandmother told me as a child. This is not surprising, because many western fairy tales that were recorded by the Grimm's were likely Slavic in origin, because areas like Berlin, in Germany were originally inhabited by a slavic people, the Wends, before Germanic tribes moved into these areas and displaced them. I will have to look into Aksakov.

lastochka комментирует...

One of the best cartoons of my childhood...I have 2 bookshelves with fairytales at home))

Chernevog комментирует...

There are several collections on DVD available here that I watched once called "Masters of Russian Animation". I have several books of fairy tales from a number of slavic countries that I found in several old bookstores, but they are very hard to find.