NABOKV-L post 0015552, Sat, 6 Oct 2007 12:41:30 +0400

Fw: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS: Russian King's Daughter
Dear Matt,

As all Russian subscribers to the list will notice, this tale strikingly resembles Pushkin's "The Fairy Tale of the Tsar Saltan" (1831) - except that in the latter there is a Son (Prince Gvidon), instead of Daughter, no trace of incest, and a more northern-looking sea island, instead of Greece. The authors of "The Guide to Pushkin" included in the last volume of the Soviet edition of Pushkin's Complete Works do not mention this old German tale (unknown to Russian commentators?) as a possible source of Pushkin's fairy tale; nevertheless, according to them, Russian folklore versions of this fairy tale that were familiar to Pushkin begin with a cat that "sings" this tale (Pushkin used this image, the learned cat, in his marvelous Introduction poem to "Ruslan and Lyudmila"). Could it be a connection to Hodge (in a way, also a "learned cat") that hints, at the same time, that Shade is not shot after all?


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