Vladimir Propp

Vladimir Propp

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Vladimir Propp

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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.

Biography

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 and German 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 morphology 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...
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