Dzhapua Z. Issues of Folklore Genre Classification in the Works of B. N . Putilov and K. V. C histov in the Light of a New Understanding of the Subject Field of Folkloristics

Zurab Dzhapua
D. I. Gulia of ANA Abkhazian Institute of Humanities, Abkhazian Academy of Sciences;
Abkhazian State University named after Sukhum
Republic of Abkhazia


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ABSTRACT. The article is devoted to the issues of the genre space of folklore in the works of the world famous folklorists and ethnographers B. N. Putilov and K. V. Chistov, the issues that have been under discussion for a long time, but still remain unresolved. Particular attention is paid to the new post-Soviet understanding of the subject field of folklore studies and the relationship between folklore and folk culture, folklore studies and ethnography. The author attempts to analyze the contributions to the field by Putilov and Chistov, who attached great importance to the category of genre in the theory of folklore, the genre theory of folklore, and to defining the criteria for identifying genre systems of verbal folklore, taking into account its specificity and understanding of folklore and folklore studies in the broad sense of the word. The article draws attention to the unproductiveness and inconsistency of the (Soviet period) attempts to consider and classify folklore in the field of literary criticism, i.e. within the framework of three literary genera—epic, lyric, and drama―since this contradicts the essence and the very nature of folklore and the memory of tradition. At the same time, the author highlights the potential of Putilov’s idea of dividing all the numerous folklore genres not into three kinds, as in fiction, but into three groups of genres, i.e. texts that are narrated, those sung, and speech genres. Chistov’s proposal to use the term “oral stories” to denote works of oral prose is also very apt. The article also lists genres and works that create particular difficulties in classification of folklore, as among them “small genres”, oral stories, contemporary folklore, etc.


KEYWORDS: B. N. Putilov, K. V. Chistov, genres, classification, folklore, folklore studies, ethnography, tradition


DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2021-1(11)-07-14
УДК 391.2(611)



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