Russian Secret Tales

Welcome to Russian Secret Tales, a project by Valeria Pinchuk and Jean Romanowski! Here, we shall examine one of the most curious elements of Russian folk culture, that of the “adult” fairy tale. Almost as curious as the existence of the collection of the Russian Secret Tales, originally collected by Alexander Afanasyev, is the strange relationship that the West has had with them throughout history. Though the tales were not printed officially in Russia until 1991, the collection appeared in Geneva, Switzerland as early as the 1870’s. And yet, though the tales were originally printed in the West, the first English translation of their texts is surprisingly conservative. For more information, feel free to check out the “About” section!