|The Tale of Sorrow and Misfortune|
|The Tale of Savva, the Son of the Esteemed Thomas Grudcyn|
|The Tale of the Rich and Celebrated Merchant Karp Sutulov and His Prudent Wife|
|The Story of Frol Skobejev, a Russian Nobleman.|
According to the complete title of this narrative, written about the middle of the seventeenth century, the unknown author intended to show how a nameless young man who failed to accept parental counsel was forced through sorrow and misfortune to enter a monastery. The characteristic cadence of the Tale reveals that the author wrote this variant of the parable of the prodigal son under the direct influence of the rhythm characteristic of epic folk songs. It may, therefore, be justifiable to divide the prose text into rhythmical units. Although the language of the Tale is the Russian language of folk songs, the author confesses at the end that it was his intention to compose a hagiographical work. The genre of the novel had then not yet acquired its own independent raison d'être.