Bogatyrev Petr Grigoryevich

28 January [ 16 January] 1893 (1893-01-28), Saratov — 18 August 1971 (1971-08-19), Moscow


Biography, education, career:

On leaving Saratov gymnasium № 2, Petr Bogatyrev entered the Faculty of History and Philology, Moscow State University, where he studied in 1912–1918. Under the influence of V.V. Bogdanov, V.F. Miller, and D.N. Ushakov, he collected linguistic, folklore, and ethnographic materials, participated in the work of scientific societies. In 1921–1939 Bogatyrev worked in Czechoslovakia. Together with N.S. Trubetskoy and R.O. Jakobson, he was a member of the Prague Linguistic Circle (1926). He was Doctor of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague (1930), Docent at the Comenius University in Bratislava (1937), Acting Docent at the University of Münster (Germany, 1931–1933). In 1928–1939, by order of State Literary Museum (Moscow), he collected archival materials in Czechoslovakia and Denmark. In 1922–1939 Bogatyrev conducted extensive research and was involved in expeditions and collection trips; especially fruitful were his trips to Transcarpathia and Slovakia. In 1939 he returned to Moscow. Bogatyrev was Professor of Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature, and History and Moscow State University (1940); Doctor of the Faculty of Philology (1941). In 1943–1948 he was Head of the Department of Folklore of the Institute of Ethnography of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1948 he was accused of cosmopolitism and lack of ideology, fired and suspended from teaching. In 1952–1959 he was Professor at Voronezh State University. Bogatyrev is one of the contributors and editors of the textbook, titled Russian Folk Poetry Writing (1954, 1956). In 1958–1963 he was senior researcher at Gorky Institute of World Literature, USSR AS. From 1964 – Professor of the Faculty of Philology, Moscow State University. Bogatyrev participated in international scientific congresses and symposia. He translated Jaroslav Hašek’s novel The Good Soldier Švejk into Russian. In 1972–1980 there were organized annual Bogatyrev Readings in Leningrad, which were resumed in Moscow in 1993.

Areas of expertise: Folklore studies; Ethnolinguistics; Ethnic theatre studies

Major scientific achievements:

Many works by Bogatyrev received international acclaim: Magical Acts, Rituals and Beliefs of Sub-Carpathian Rus (Paris, 1929), Folklore as a Special Form of Creation (co-authored with R. Jakobson; Utrecht, 1929), Czech and Slovak Folk Theatre (Prague, 1940) and some others. He developed and applied structural, semiotic and functional methods to the analysis of ethnographic and folklore material; he emphasized the importance of identifying the semiotics of costume and mask in rituals and of actions in games and folk theatre; while identifying the dominant function (magical, aesthetic, entertaining, artistic, social, etc.), he introduced the notion of multifunctionality. Bogatyrev studied various types of folk art, folk genres, folk performance culture, etc.

Awards and distinctions:

Doctor Honoris Causa of Charles University in Prague (1968) and the Comenius University in Bratislava (1969).

Membership in scientific organizations and unions:

In 1956 Bogatyrev joined the Union of Soviet Writers.

Major publications:

• Actes magiques, rites et croyances en Russie Subcarpathique. Paris, 1929;

• Die Folklore als eine besondere Form des Schaffens (co-authored with R.O. Jakobson) // Donum Natalicum Schrijnen. Utrecht, 1929; • Lidove divadlo ceske a slovenske. Praha, 1940;

• Фольклорные сказания об опришках Западной Украины // СЭ. 1941. Вып. 5. С. 59-80; [Folk Stories about the Oprishki in West Ukraine // Sovetskaja Etnographija. Vol. 5. P.p. 59-80]

• Отчет о поездке в Балканские страны // КСИЭ. 1947. Вып. 3. С. 82-94; [Account of the Trip to the Balkan Countries // Kratkije Soobschenija Instituta Etnografii. 1947. Vol. 3. P.p. 82-94]

• Некоторые задачи сравнительного изучения эпоса славянских народов. М., 1958; [Some Objectives of a Comparative Study of Slavic Epics. M., 1958]

• Словацкие эпические рассказы и лироэпические песни («Звойницкий цикл»). М., 1963; [Slovak Epic Stories and Lyrico-Epic Songs (Zvoynitsky Cycle). M., 1963]

• Проблемы изучения материальной и духовной культуры населения Карпат // СЭ. 1964. № 4. С. 126-135; [Problems of Studying the Material and Spiritual Culture of the Carpathian Population // Sovetskaja Etnographija. 1964. № 4. P.p. 126-135]

• Традиция и импровизация в народном творчестве. М., 1964; [Tradition and Improvisation in Folk Art. M., 1964]

• Вопросы теории народного искусства. М., 1971. 544 с. (библиография научных работ и переводов П.Г. Богатырева. С. 523-543). [On the Theory of Folk Art. M., 1971. 544 P. (a bibliography of P.G. Bogatyrev’s scientific papers and translations. P.p. 523-543.)]

About P. Bogatyrev:

• Грацианская Н.Н., Померанцева Э.В. Петр Григорьевич Богатырев // СЭ. 1971. № 6. С. 192-194; [Gratsianskaya, N.N., Pomerantseva, E.V. Petr Grigoryevich Bogatyrev // Sovetskaja Etnographija. 1971. № 6. P.p. 192-194.]

• Гусев В.Е. Этнографическая проблематика в трудах П.Г. Богатырева (К 100-летию со дня рождения) // ЭО. 1993. № 5. С. 116-126; [Gusev, V.E. Ethnographic Problematics in the Works by P.G. Bogatyrev (On the Occasion of Bogatyrev’s 100th Anniversary) // Etnograficheskoye obozreniye (Ethnographic Review). 1993. № 5. P.p. 116-126]

• Гусев В.Е. Методологические основы научной деятельности П.Г. Богатырева // КЭТ. 1993. Вып. 2-3. С. 307-314; [Gusev, V.E. The Methodological Basis of P.G. Bogatyrev’s Scientific Work // Kunstkamera. Etnograficheskiye tetradi. 1993. Vol. 2-3. P.p. 307-314;]

• Сорокина С.П. Функциональный метод в малоизвестных работах П.Г. Богатырева // Там же. С. 324-329; [Sorokina, S.P. Functional Method in P.G. Bogatyrev’s Less Known Works // ibid. P.p. 324-329.]

• Якобсон Р., Поморска К. Беседы. Иерусалим, 1982; [Jakobson, R., Pomorska, K. Talks. Jerusalem, 1982.]

• Толстой Н.И. Петр Григорьевич Богатырев и Роман Осипович Якобсон // ЖС. 1994. № 1. С. 10-13; [Tolstoy, N.I. Petr Grigoryevich Bogatyrev and Roman Osipovich Jakobson // Zhivaya Starina. 1994. № 1. P.p. 10-13]

• Петр Григорьевич Богатырев. Воспоминания. Документы. Статьи. СПб., 2002. [Petr G. Bogatyrev. Memoirs. Documents. Articles. SPb, 2002.]

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