Afanasiev, Alexander Nikolaievitch (Afanasyeu, Afanasyeff) (1826–1871) was a Russian folklorist, compiler of Russian Folktales (1855– 1863), published in eight parts.
Afanasiev’s work, which has achieved the status of a Russian classic, was influenced by the Grimms’ collection of German folktales. Based partly on oral sources, Afanasiev’s work also depended on published sources, so many present-day scholars dismiss his work as being “too literary” and lacking research from primary sources. Aside from this major collection, Afanasiev also published Russian Popular Legends (1860), which was banned by the Russian Orthodox Church as well as the government because it used “vulgar” words and was critical of both church and state. His work was also banned by the Soviets for the same reasons.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante