Zaonezye

Zaonezye is considered an ‘archaic zone’ in world folklore studies, a place in which the unique facts of peasant culture have been preserved. Zaonezhye went down in the history of culture as ‘the Iceland of Russian epic, ’ a land of excellent folk tale narrators such as the Ryabinins, V. P. Shchegolenok (Shevelev), S. Kornilov, T. Ievelev, and L. Bogdanov. Alongside the folklore genres that have long inhabited the territory of Zaonezhye were also historic songs, poetry cited in various specific situations, fairy tales, and songs. One of the most famous singers in Zaonezhye was Irina Andreevna Fedosova (1827–1889). Meeting with Irina Fedosova left a strong impression on young Gorky, and later he described this meeting in the first part of his novel ’Life of Klim Samgin. ’ The stories and poetic properties of the national poetess were highly valued by Nikolai Nekrasov, who widely used the themes of Olonets lamentations in his poem ’Who Lives Well in Russia. ’ In 1872, lamentations recorded from Fedosova were published by E. V. Barsov in his two volume ’Burial Lamentations of Northern Russia’ (1872, 1882). This collection left its mark on the world literature.