The Slavic Myths

(1 customer review)

CAD $46.00

In the world of Slavic mythology we find much that we can recognize: petulant deities, demons and faeries; witches, the sinister vestica, whose magic may harm or heal; a supreme god who can summon storms and hurl thunderbolts. Gods gather under the World Tree, reminiscent of Norse mythology’s Yggdrasill; or, after the coming of Christianity, congregate among the clouds. The vampire – usually the only Serbo-Croatian word in any foreign-language dictionary – and the werewolf emerge from the shallow graves of Slavic belief.

In the first collection of Slavic myths expertly woven together are the ancient stories with nuanced analysis to illuminate their place at the heart of Slavic tradition. While Slavic cultures are far-ranging, comprised of East Slavs (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), West Slavs (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland), and South Slavs (the countries of former Yugoslavia plus Bulgaria), they are connected by tales of adventure and magic with roots in a common lore.

In their careful analysis and sensitive reconstructions of the myths, Charney and Slapšak unearth the Slavic beliefs before their distortion first by Christian chroniclers and then by nineteenth-century scholars seeking origin stories for their newborn nation states. They reveal links not only to the neighboring pantheons of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Scandinavia, but also the belief systems of indigenous peoples of Australia, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Specially commissioned illustrations inspired by traditional Eastern and European folk art bring the stories and their cultural landscape to life.

“The explanatory literary excerpts are engaging, while the stories themselves are in turn humorous, inspiring, or spooky. Some of the references, such as Baba Yaga, will be familiar to folktale enthusiasts, but much of the material will be fresh… This especially accessible introduction to traditional Slavic folklore will be of interest to collections that support storytellers, linguists, and students of mythology.”
Booklist

“Enchanting folklore tradition.”
Atlas Obscura

Hardcover

In stock

1 review for The Slavic Myths

  1. marnie tunay (verified owner)

    An impressive and gorgeous book! Written in a simple and lucid style, the stories are beautifully told, and the research is solid. Plentiful illustrations, stark and powerful. Just a lovely, lovely presentation, and well worth the money.

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Additional information

Weight350 g
Dimensions25 × 3 × 25 cm

Description

In the world of Slavic mythology we find much that we can recognize: petulant deities, demons and faeries; witches, the sinister vestica, whose magic may harm or heal; a supreme god who can summon storms and hurl thunderbolts. Gods gather under the World Tree, reminiscent of Norse mythology’s Yggdrasill; or, after the coming of Christianity, congregate among the clouds. The vampire – usually the only Serbo-Croatian word in any foreign-language dictionary – and the werewolf emerge from the shallow graves of Slavic belief.

In the first collection of Slavic myths expertly woven together are the ancient stories with nuanced analysis to illuminate their place at the heart of Slavic tradition. While Slavic cultures are far-ranging, comprised of East Slavs (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), West Slavs (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland), and South Slavs (the countries of former Yugoslavia plus Bulgaria), they are connected by tales of adventure and magic with roots in a common lore.

In their careful analysis and sensitive reconstructions of the myths, Charney and Slapšak unearth the Slavic beliefs before their distortion first by Christian chroniclers and then by nineteenth-century scholars seeking origin stories for their newborn nation states. They reveal links not only to the neighboring pantheons of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Scandinavia, but also the belief systems of indigenous peoples of Australia, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Specially commissioned illustrations inspired by traditional Eastern and European folk art bring the stories and their cultural landscape to life.

“The explanatory literary excerpts are engaging, while the stories themselves are in turn humorous, inspiring, or spooky. Some of the references, such as Baba Yaga, will be familiar to folktale enthusiasts, but much of the material will be fresh… This especially accessible introduction to traditional Slavic folklore will be of interest to collections that support storytellers, linguists, and students of mythology.”
Booklist

“Enchanting folklore tradition.”
Atlas Obscura

Hardcover