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Russian formalist interested in the morphology of the folk tale, Propp used the formalist approach (breaking sentences down into elements called morphemes) to analyse by analogy the folk tales.

Propp used for his investigations the Russian folk tale (he studied more than 450 tales), and he defined 31 generic themes.

Moreover, Propp tried to identify the rules by which these morphemes are combined, and found that some of them came in pairs , and that the order in which are shown seems constant.

Vladimir Propp, along with Joseph Campbell and Jorge Luis Borges, among others, has been inspired by Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious. The study of “master plots” in universal literature shows similar patterns between different cultures and, the most important, demonstrates how we can easily identify with any kind of world literature.

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