Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic

By Dubravka Ugresic

Baba Yaga is a witch-like personality who flies round on an enormous mortar, kidnapping (and most likely consuming) young children. She lives in a home on bird toes. She is usually a terrifying determine, portrayed not just in literature but in addition movie, animation and tune all through Russian tradition. Dubravka Ugresic takes the tale of Baba Yaga and weaves it into whatever thoroughly clean. the result's a rare meditation on femininity, growing old, id, secrets and techniques, storytelling and love.

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Extra resources for Baba Yaga Laid an Egg

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When Apollo was preparing a feast for Jupiter, the god sent a raven to gather water from a spring. The raven took a bowl and flew into the air, when it caught sight of a fig tree filled with fruit. The raven swooped down, tasted the figs, and found they were still unripe. It sat there and waited until the figs were ready, ate its fill, then thought of its duty to the god. It picked up a water snake and flew back to Apollo, saying that the serpent had blocked the stream. Apollo saw through the lie, and declared that the raven should henceforth drink no water from a spring until figs have ripened on the trees; that is why the raven speaks with a voice harsh from thirst.

Outraged citizens killed the perpetrator. The raven was given a magnificent funeral attended by a vast crowd. A flute-player led the way and Ethiopian slaves solemnly carried the covered bier on their shoulders. 50 A Roman tomb in which the wish for peaceful rest in the life to come is represented by a traditional bucolic scene showing crows pecking grapes. Poets of Rome looked back nostalgically to an imagined age when human beings, uncorrupted by greed, lived in harmony with the elements. In Virgil’s Georgics, probably the most famous expression of this romantic longing, the author wrote fondly of the croaking raven as presaging rain.

Romans found the linguistic abilities of magpies even more impressive than those of crows and ravens. Pliny wrote that certain magpies not only repeat favourite words but love them and constantly ponder their meanings. Should a magpie fail to comprehend such a word, it may die of disappointment. If the raven was a warrior, the magpie was a dedicated scholar. As the Romans absorbed the cultures of conquered peoples, the lore of animals such as crows became increasingly varied and complex. Pliny told of a man by the name of Crates Monoceros who went into the forest with ravens perched on his shoulders and the crest of his helmet, birds which he used for falconry.

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