Studia Litterarum (Dec 2019)

G.V. Ksenofontov’s Letters to the Academician Yu.M. Sokolov (1934–1935)

  • Svetlana D. Mukhopleva

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 4
pp. 336 – 361


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This essay examines materials from the archive of Yuri Matveevich Sokolov, a Russian Soviet folklorist, literary critic, and academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. These materials from the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art funds contribute to the understudied theme “Yu.M. Sokolov and his correspondents from Yakutia.” This theme is relevant as it raises the question of the influence of the academician on Yakut folkloristics. The essay contains two letters received from G.V. Ksenofontov, a researcher of history, ethnography and folklore of Yakuts, repressed in 1938, as well as documents attached to the second letter. The letters deal with translation and publication of Yakut olonkho, and discusses the question of editing Ellеiada, a collection that was published in 1977 without theoretical commentary. The publication of these letters is preceded by an introduction that names Yakut correspondents of Yu.M. Sokolov, mentions the assistance of the academician in compiling the handbook Satellite of the Yakut folklorist published by G.U. Ergis, and gives a brief overview of the literature on the life and work of G.V. Ksenofontov. The main focus is on description and interpretation of the letters’ content. Each letter and attachments to the second letter are provided with comments.