Povest is a Russian term for a fictional narrative. It denotes the sum of facts and events connected with an individual or a particular incident.
Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837), who mastered all the Western literary forms and genres, referred to a ‘povest of myself’, meaning the sum total of what had happened to him. His Povesti Belkin (1830) are notable examples of the form. Terseness and compression are characteristic of povesti, which have less complex plots than novels and are shorter. It is perhaps the Russian equivalent of the German Novelle and by virtue of its length, at any rate comparable with the French récit.
The Bulgarians use the term povest for a reasonably long short-story, and in Croatian (which has the ‘je’ dialect of what is commonly called Serbo-Croatian) the word povijest denotes history or records or a chronicle. In Serbian povest means history and story.
Also read: Discuss Exemplum; Definition and Examples
Also read: Pathetic Fallacy; Definition and Examples