Esteemed Readers, I go on telling you about author’s fairy tale in the Russian folklore. This time I would like to present one of the most brilliant story: a tale about a humpbacked horse’s adventures written in the middle of the 19th century by Piotr Ershov. Written in a poetic form, the plot not only re-tells pieces of tales like Vasil’isa the Fair or the Fire-Bird, but it contains a deep satiric core. The author depicts a social environment of Russia of that time very ironically. This irony is a weapon of the epoch, a protest against the political & social decadance which would lead the country to the October Revolution in half of the century later.
The story so far is not original: again Iv’an Dur’ak is in trouble because of his brothers; again he must catch a Fire-Bird, again he must become a servant of a weird old tzar & fulfil his crazy quests. Of course, he has a true friend, a little humpbacked horse, who helps him to pass all his adventures safe. However, unlike traditional Russian stories you have already become familiar with, it is full of profound characters, incredible foreign adventures & plenty of stunning episodes with pagan elements. Moreover, the tale is very dynamic, very Russian & absorbs you more & more, while an ironic end will leave none indifferent.
By a lucky chance I have discovered this pretty English translation & I offer it to you. The story is very long, but worth reading:
For curious minds: There is a wonderful Russian animation with English subtitles & a ballet by Rodeon Shcheedrin with the same name. Enjoy it in all the forms!