Ivan the Fool: Russian Folk Belief : a Cultural History

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This masterly and extremely readable survey covering folk superstitions and customs, house and nature spirits, pagan gods, Christianization, saints, icons, the Schism, Old Believers, religious sects and the characters and symbolism in Russian fairy tales could be called Origin of the Russian Psyche. Most everything the Russians have ever believed in - and much of what they believe in still - is in this book. Inspired by the folk belief Sinyavsky encountered first on his many trips to the Russian North in the 1950s and later on in prison camp, Ivan the Fool is a detailed account of Russian folk culture from before the era of Christianization to the present.

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About the author (2007)

Andrei Sinyavsky (1925-1997), acclaimed satirical novelist and literary critic, emigrated to France in 1973 after his incarceration in a Soviet labor camp for publishing works in the West under the name Abram Tertz. His best known works include "On Socialist Realism”, The Trial Begins, Fantastic Stories, The Makepeace Experiment, A Voice from the Chorus, Strolls with Pushkin, and his autobiographical novel Goodnight!
"Sinyavsky has been increasingly recognized both in the West and in Russia as one of the most significant Russian literary figures of the post-Stalin period." - Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy

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