Title of the article:

MYTHOPOETICS OF THE ROAD (based on the Russian folk riddles)


Natalya V. Shesterkina

Vladimir I. Rogachev

Information about the author/authors

Natalya V. Shesterkina — DSc in Philology, Professor, Research Mordovia State University, Bol'chevistskaya St. 68, 430005, Saransk, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4905-4573. E-mail: nvshest@mail.ru

Vladimir I. Rogachev — DSc in Philology, Professor, The Mordovian State Pedagogical Intitute, Studencheskaya St. 11a, 430007, Saransk, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2830-8667. E-mail: rogachev-v@bk.ru


Philological sciences




Vol. 58


pp. 138-150


September 19, 2019

Date of publication

December 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



The paper is to study Russian folk riddles about a road. It focuses on the image of the road, having special sacred meanings, comparing to an image of a path, absent in the riddles. The image of the road — is an important space and time constant in a consciousness of a Russian person — exists as a form of determining of its place in a complex system of not only territorial but cultural coordinates and codes. In this connection the symbolism of road is examined on different mythological levels — narrative and sacral, principles of which allow us identifying deeper layers of separate meanings and folklore motifs. The structure of riddles is explored with the help of mythopoetic approach appealing to an ancient consciousness expressed in the oppositions “up — down”. The authors detect dominant motifs among the riddles about road, examine the subjects-nominations, which characterize the main motif of research from anthropocentric positions — lying and aspiration to stand up tall, reaching the sky. According to mythological perceptions the riddles introduce the road as an anthropomorphic being with its own view of life. The study submits the systematization of folk riddles about a road according to three main mythopoetic motifs: a) the motif of lying; b) and he will reach the sky as he stands c) motif of What if / if only there were hands / and legs… Besides, the paper considers a mythological projection — an attempt of a road to go through the ritual of initiation. 


Russian folk riddles, road, mythopoetics, folklore motives, sacredness, initiation. 


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