Skaz Narrative

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error


The term


comes from the Russian verb


(to tell) and such words as


(short story) and


(fairy tale). It is also a word used of (traditional or “folk”) oral narratives, and has occasionally been used of works to suggest their origin in terms of such an oral context (as in the full title of Leskov's


, or “Tale of the squint-eyed, left-handed man from Tula and the steel flea”, 1881). The word has therefore essentially to do with “telling”.

The designation skaz was subsequently adopted by the Formalist school of Russian criticism (in the years just before and just after the Revolution) as a term denoting a type of narrative technique, which emphasizes oral speech, thus invigorating literary discourse (usually first-person) with elements from living

809 words

Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "Skaz Narrative". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 June 2005 [, accessed 14 April 2024.]

1561 Skaz Narrative 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.