Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp
(; — 22 August 1970) was a Russian
and Soviet formalist
scholar who analyzed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales
to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements.
Vladimir Propp was born on April 17, 1895 in St. Petersburg to a German family. He attended St. Petersburg University (1913–1918) majoring in Russian and German philosophy
.Propp, Vladimir. "Introduction." Theory and History of Folklore.
Ed. Anatoly Liberman. University of Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1984. pg ix Upon graduation he taught Russian
at a secondary school and then became a college teacher of German.
His Morphology of the Folktale
was published in Russian in 1928. Although it represented a breakthrough in both folkloristics
and influenced Claude Lévi-Strauss
and Roland Barthes
, it was generally unnoticed in the West until it was translated in the 1958. His character types are used in media education and can be applied to almost any story, be it in literature, theatre, film, television series, games, etc.
In 1932, Propp became a member of Leningrad University
(formerly St. Petersburg University) faculty. After 1938, he shifted the focus of his research from linguistics to folklore. He chaired the Department of Folklore until it became part of the Department of Russian Literature. Propp remained a faculty member until his death in... Read More