A.N. Veselovsky’s Theory of Motive and Plot in the Reflection of a Folk Tale

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The article deals with the main provisions of the theory of motive and plot of the outstanding Russian philologist A.N. Veselovsky (1838-1906) in the light of a folk tale. At the archaic stage, as the scientist believed, the composition of the fairy tale obeyed the laws of syncretic consciousness and dualistic worldview, which determined the specifics of not only its existence, but also the logical and semantic basis of the fairy-tale model. With the transition to the religious-historical paradigm of public consciousness, there is a semiotic and morphological reorganization of the plot of the fairy tale. The task is to find out how the scientific method of differentiated study of motive and plot allowed Veselovsky to prove that the operating system of the motive is strongly connected with apperception and suggestion, and the plot - with combination and discourse, that the motive is directly related to fiction, and the plot - to the idea, but at the same time their commonality is expressed by the ideological and artistic concept.

About the authors

Tatiana V. Govenko

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: govenko@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1296-8399

PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Russian Classical Literature, Deputy Head of the Center of the Russian Language and Culture. A.F. Losev Institute of Philology of the Moscow Pedagogical State University

25a Povarskaya St, Moscow, 121069, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Govenko T.V.

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