The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish
The tale is about a fisherman who manages to catch a "Golden Fish" which promises to fulfill any wish of his in exchange for its freedom.
Azadovsky wrote monumental articles on Pushkin's sources, his nurse "Arina Rodionovna", and the "Brothers Grimm" demonstrating that tales recited to Pushkin in his youth were often recent translations propagated "word of mouth to a largely unlettered peasantry", rather than tales passed down in Russia, as John Bayley explains.
Still, Bayley"s estimation, the derivative nature does not not diminish the reader's ability to appreciate "The Fisherman and the Fish" as "pure folklore", though at a lesser scale than other masterpieces. In a similar vein, Sergei Mikhailovich Bondi emphatically accepted Azadovsky's verdict on Pushkin's use of Grimm material, but emphasized that Pushkin still crafted Russian fairy tales out of them.
The tale is also very similar in plot and motif to the folktale "The Goldfish" Russian: Золотая рыбка which is No. 75 in Alexander Afanasyev's collection (1855–1867), which is obscure as to its collected source.
Russian scholarship abounds in discussion of the interrelationship between Pushkin's verse and Afanasyev's skazka. Pushkin had been shown Vladimir Dal's collection of folktales. He seriously studied genuine folktales, and literary style was spawned from absorbing them, but conversely, popular tellings were influenced by Pushkin's published versions also.
At any rate, after Norbert Guterman's English translation of Asfaneyev's "The Goldfish" (1945) appeared, Stith Thompson included it in his One Hundred Favorite Folktales, so this version became the referential Russian variant for the ATU 555 tale type.
In Pushkin's poem, an old man and woman have been living poorly for many years. They have a small hut, and every day the man goes out to fish. One day, he throws in his net and pulls out seaweed two times in succession, but on the third time he pulls out a golden fish. The fish pleads for its life, promising any wish in return. However, the old man is scared by the fact that a fish can speak; he says he does not want anything, and lets the fish go.
When he returns and tells his wife about the golden fish, she gets angry and tells her husband to go ask the fish for a new trough, as theirs is broken, and the fish happily grants this small request. The next day, the wife asks for a new house, and the fish grants this also. Then, in succession, the wife asks for a palace, to become a noble lady, to become the ruler of her province, to become the tsarina, and finally to become the Ruler of the Sea and to subjugate the golden fish completely to her boundless will. As the man goes to ask for each item, the sea becomes more and more stormy, until the last request, where the man can hardly hear himself think. When he asks that his wife be made the Ruler of the Sea, the fish cures her greed by putting everything back to the way it was before, including the broken trough.
The Afanasiev version "The Goldfish" is catalogued as ATU Type "(The) Fisherman and his Wife", the type title deriving from the representative tale, Brothers Grimm's tale The Fisherman and His Wife.
The tale exhibits the "function" of "lack" to use the terminology of Vladimir Propp's structural analysis, but even while the typical fairy tale is supposed to "liquidate' the lack with a happy ending, this tale type breaches the rule by reducing the Russian couple back to their original state of dire poverty, hence it is a case of "lack not liquidated". The Poppovian structural analysis sets up "The Goldfish" tale for comparison with a similar Russian fairy tale, "The Greedy Old Woman (Wife)".
- 1866 - Le Poisson doré (The Golden Fish), "fantastic ballet", choreography by Arthur Saint-Léon, the music by Ludwig Minkus.
- 1917 - The Fisherman and the Fish by Nikolai Tcherepnin, op. 41 for orchestra
- 1937 - The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish, USSR, animated film by Aleksandr Ptushko.
- 1950 - The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish, USSR, classic traditionally animated film by Mikhail Tsekhanovsky.,
- 2002 - About the Fisherman and the Goldfish, Russia, stop-motion film by Nataliya Dabizha.
- Odnoklassniki.ru: Click for luck, comedy film (2013)
- Chandler (2012), Alexander Pushkin, introduction.
- Chandler (2012).
- Pilinovsky (2014), pp. 396–397.
- Chandler (2012), Alexander Pushkin, introduction and Pilinovsky (2014), pp. 396–397.
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- Bayley, John (1971). "2. Early Poems". Pushkin: A Comparative Commentary. Cambridge: CUP Archive. p. 53. ISBN 0521079543.
- Sugino (2019), p. 8.
- Akhmatova, Anna Andreevna (1997). Meyer, Ronald (ed.). My Half Century: Selected Prose. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. p. 387, n38. ISBN 0810114852.
- Sugino (2019), p. 10.
- Guterman (2013). Title page (pub. years). "The Goldfish" pp. 528–532.
- Thompson (1974). Title page (pub. years). "The Goldfish". pp. 241–243. Endnote, p. 437 "Type 555".
- Uther, Hans-Jörg (2004). The types of international folktales. 1. Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Academia Scientiarum Fennica. p. 273.
- Somoff, Victoria (2019), Canepa, Nancy L. (ed.), "Morals and Miracles: The Case of ATU 555 'The Fisherman and His Wife'", Teaching Fairy Tales, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0814339360
- "The Tale About the Fisherman and the Fish (1937)". Animation.ru. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "The Tale About the Fisherman and the Fish (1950)". Animation.ru. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "About the Fisherman and the Fish (2002)". Animation.ru. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- Briggs, A. D. P. (1982). Alexander Pushkin: A Critical Study. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
- Chandler, Robert, ed. (2012). "A Tale about a Fisherman and a Fish". Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov. Penguin UK. ISBN 0141392541.
- Guterman, Norbert, tr., ed. (2013) . "The Goldfish". Russian Fairy Tales. The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library. Aleksandr Afanas'ev (orig. ed.). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 528–532. ISBN 0307829766.
- Sugino, Yuri (2019), "Pushkinskaya "Skazka o rybake i rybke" v kontekste Vtoroy boldinskoy oseni" Пушкинская «Сказка о рыбаке и рыбке» в контексте Второй болдинской осени [Pushkin's“The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish”in the Context of the Second Boldin Autumn], Japanese Slavic and East European Studies, 39: 2–25, doi:10.5823/jsees.39.0_2
- Thompson, Stith, ed. (1974) . "51. The Goldfish". One Hundred Favorite Folktales. Indiana University Press. pp. 241–243, endnote p. 437. ISBN 0253201721.
- Pilinovsky, Helen (2014), "(Review): Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov by Robert Chandler", Marvels & Tales, 28 (2): 395–397, doi:10.13110/marvelstales.28.2.0395