Traditional Account

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Traditional Account


in folklore, a narrative containing information about actual persons and events. Originating from the tales of eyewitnesses, the traditional account departs from its original factual basis when retold and becomes subject to free poetic interpretation. The traditional account resembles the skazka (folktale) and legend, although its inventiveness differs from folktale fantasy and from legendary marvels. It extends beyond the boundaries of narratives dealing with everyday life and includes social motifs.

Historical traditional accounts deal with such figures as Joan of Arc, Ivan the Terrible, and A. V. Suvorov, and toponymic traditional accounts are devoted to the origin of names, for example the names of cities: Paris from Paris in Greek legend, or Kiev from Kii. Traditional accounts were widely utilized in Old Russian literature and in the works of such writers as A. S. Pushkin, N. S. Leskov, and P. P. Bazhov. Scholars have systematized the traditional account and the genres related to it: examples are the indexes of J. R. W. Sinninghe, R. T. Christiansen, and L. Simonsuuri of Finland.


Chistov, K. V. “Problema kategorri ustnoi narodnoi prozy neskazochnogo kharaktera.” Fabula, 1967, vol. 9, books 1-3.
Sokolva, V. K. Russkie istoricheskie predaniia. Moscow, 1970. Iolles, a. Einfache Formen, 2d ed. Halle, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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