Vladimir Propp: from “morphology” to “history” (in honor of the 75th anniversary of the first edition of the “Historical roots of the wondertale”)

Автор: Neklyudov Sergei Yu.

Журнал: Новый филологический вестник @slovorggu

Рубрика: Фольклористика

Статья в выпуске: 2 (57), 2021 года.

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V.Ya. Propp conceived the following two of his major works - “Morphology of the Folktale” (1928) and “Historical Roots of the Wondertale” (1946) - as a dilogy, its underlying principle was to describe the structure (“morphology”) of the phenomenon in order to study its genesis (“history”). As the author initially defined the outlines of his research project, neither a single tale, nor a single plot were supposed to be the subject of study, all of them should have been used as material for further analysis. His “morphological formula” was not a product of the reconstruction of “proto-form” or “prototext”. Instead, he constructed a model that may or may not have actual historical incarnations, but it helped to explain the potential diversity of traditions generated by the process of evolutionary morphology, analogous to biological evolution. “Historical Roots” not only provides the supporting elements of this model as well as a broad ethnographic commentary. It also builds up a ritual and mythological structure, representing the paradigmatic aspect of the same model. In the syntagmatic (“morphological”) mode, the structural elements of the narrative (functions) are connected “in contiguity” - as an inviolable “horizontal” sequence. In “Historical Roots”, each of these functions (in theory) acquires an equivalent in the archaic ritual tradition. The relation between the narrative elements and the ritual ones (as well as between the actual patterns) deserves to be called “paradigmatic”. This article considers different perspectives of the correlation of “morphological” and “historical” in V.Ya. Propp’s conceptualization of the folktale.


Propp, folktale, myth, ritual, initiation, function, morphology, structure, syntagmatics, paradigmatics

Короткий адрес: https://sciup.org/149136574

IDR: 149136574   |   DOI: 10.24411/2072-9316-2021-00038

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