Religious Poetry of Literary Origin in the Manuscript Tradition of the Russian Old Believers 

Tatiana Filosofova, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Russian
Russian Program Coordinator
Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
University of North Texas
e-mail: tatiana.filosofova@unt.eduhas


The current research focuses on a little-known area of studies, didactic poetry by the Russian Old Believers that originated from the medieval Russian literary tradition. In particular, it aims to bring to light and examine two previously unknown and unpublished religious poems of a literary origin: “Why We Need to Endure so Much Sadness and Trouble (An Anecdotal Story about Pakhom and Stepanida)” and “A Poem About a Desperate Sinner”. Both texts were discovered in manuscripts (by the Russian Old Believers) that are held in the Drevlekhranilishche IRLI (Pushkinskii Dom, St Petersburg, Russia). The research employs the comparative method to establish the origin of these two poems and examine the adaptation techniques of some popular didactic plots by the Old Believer men of letters. It examines, compares and contrasts plots, motives and charactersí interpretations in the above named poems with selected stories from “The Great Mirror”, popular reading of the 17th–18th centuries. The poem “An Anecdotal Story about Pakhom and Stepanida” is additionally examined in comparison with the folk tale, “The Little Mouse” and the fable “About Those Who Condemn Other People” by the Russian poet V. Maikov. The current work also aims to use these newly discovered poems as examples of some lesser studied groups of texts that were known to the Russian Old Believers.

Keywords: poems, folk, authored, manuscript, the Russian Old Believers


How to cite:
Filosofova, T. (2017). “Religious Poetry of Literary Origin in the Manuscript Tradition of the Russian Old Believers.” Journal of Comparative Studies 10 (39), 48–60.