The Secret History of Moscow
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I read this recently and while I thought it was written alright the stories pacing was a bit off to me and I came to the conclusion that I would have enjoyed it more if I had read/knew any Russian fables/mythology. I was a bit lost when Sedia starts to introduce all these probably very well-known myths.
It made me want to read more about Koshchey the Deathless. I never came across this tale in my Russian studies or reading. Any recommendations?
I do want to mention--not sure how much use it would be to you, sparemethecensor, but I love it so much--the fabulous, most perfect 1944 movie directed by Aleksandar Rou, with the fabulous, most perfect, inimitable Georgy Milyar as Koschei--YouTube has it, but unfortunately I couldn't find any with subtitles, this one looks like a nice clean copy though:
Interestingly, I came across this retelling in English: Deathless. The reviews are decidedly mixed.
My Russian is good enough to read older written works (for instance, Герой нашего времени), but I struggle with the "high style" literature of the 19th century that contains so many complex participles.
While we're on the topic of stories in which Russian folklore intrudes into everyday life, the list would not be complete without the short story "Tenants" by Abram Tertz/Andrei Sinyavsky (written in the 1960s, so it pre-dates both novels by several decades).
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