According to a twenty something friend who recently immigrated to the U.S from Russia, this 1927 satirical comic novel is still so popular in Russia that not only has everyone read it on their own not in school but everyone quotes from it in their everyday speech The only thing remotely comparable I can think of in America is cult classic movie quotes Life is quite absurd, and that s the final wordOr at least that s the view from the cheap seats in early Soviet Russia Yet somehow this cynical send up of the wild goose chase we call life manages to be almost as light on its feet as Ostap Bender, the clever trickster of a protagonist whom I hated, but couldn t help hating less than all the other even contemptible greed and vanity driven characters Everything, including literature itself, is duly skewered not to mention hallowed Russian novelists Yet maybe, just maybe, a tiny glimmer of the light of hope could be shining at the end of the proverbial tunnel The novel s blend of witty language and slapstick physical comedy had me thinking this would make a great movie and in fact there have been at least two Russian comic films and a goofy 1970 Mel Brooks interpretation Though a little slow to start, once it got rolling the novel was a pretty fast 500 pages Monty Python movie quotation Origem do exemplar Biblioteca L ngua da edi o lida Portugu s Tradu o Excelente.G nero Fic o literatura romance s tira Avalia o Excelente Uma s tira fabulosa la G gol com uma personagem ic nica da literatura russa e sovi tica Ostap B nder Excelente tradu o de Nina e Filipe Guerra. Tell me, dad, said the young man, taking a puff, are there any marriageable young girls in this town The old caretaker did not show the least surprise For some a mare d be a bride, he answered, readily striking up a conversation I have no questions, said the young man quickly And he immediately asked one A house like this and no girls in it It s a long while since there ve been any young girls here, replied the old man This is a state institution a home for old age women pensioners I see For ones born before historical materialism That s it They were born when they were born The marvellous events of The Twelve Chairs are taking place after the final victory of historical materialism in one, separately taken country.Our heroes, who classically may be called picaros like those of classical picaresque novels are treasure hunters, the unbelievable tandem of a wedding swindler Ostap Bender and a former nobleman Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov.In the first side street Ippolit Matveyevich leaned against Liza and began to paw her Liza fought him off Stop it she cried Stop it Stop it Let s go to a hotel, Vorobyaninov urged.Liza freed herself with difficulty and, without taking aim, punched the lady killer on the nose The pince nez with the gold nose piece fell to the ground and, getting in the way of one of the square toed baronial boots broke with a crunch.The evening breezeSighs through the treesChoking back her tears, Liza ran home down Silver Lane.Loud and fastFlows the Gualdalquivir.The vicissitudes of their treasure hunting are fabulous, grotesque and fantastically uproarious But somehow a reader s sympathy always remains on the side of the confidence trickster.Sometimes all the pleasures of treasure hunting are in the process and not in the result Ilf and Petrov started off writing short humorous pieces for Soviet newspapers The quest plot of The Twelve Chairs gave them a loose format that allowed them to write it as a series of fairly short comic incidents My favourite of these has the lead character posing as Chess Grand Master and challenging an entire chess club to simultaneous matches an effort which gets off to a good start This isn t unique, Three Men in a Boat, Diary of a Nobody and The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War all take much the same approach.Set during the relatively prosperous and free wheeling years of the New Economic Policy in the Soviet Union of the 1920s, the quest is to recover a fortune hidden inside one of a set of twelve chairs High jinks ensue Despite the ending, Ilf and Petrov did go on to write a sequel The Golden Calf.My copy of this is shabby down at heel 1993 edition, paper discoloured, hardcover coming away It looks a bit comical itself if truth be told. All my life this was the funniest book I have ever read Once a year or two I would revisit it and double up instantly in helpless mirth Because of this book I can pinpoint with accuracy the year I matured it was the year I reread the book and realized that in spite of it playfull wittiness, it described a crushingly depressive vision of humanity The last time I reread this book I didn t laugh once I only cringed and groaned Still brilliant, but suddenly not so lighthearted at all.Good thing there s Tom Sharpe left.
I m almost ashamed for not enjoying this book a lot , but I suppose I ve read it too late The beginning was one of the funniest I ve come across in a long time, there were hilarious moments when I laughed out loud, the plot was really well crafted at times and it had some interesting insights into Russian social and political climate around 1920 s I was amazed to discover that some of the observations are valid even today some things never change, it seems.Yet, the language was a little bit outdated and there were so many digressions from the main subject that I started to lose interest It felt like Ilf and Petrov wanted to cover all the flaws of Russian society in a single book an honorable feat nonetheless I am the guilty party here, as it seems I am out of patience for this kind of writing You should read this book, don t mind my rating It really has some solid things to say. L ho finito, e riesco solo a pensare meno male che ho gi preso il secondo volume in biblioteca.La storia forse non originalissima, come detto anche nell introduzione, ma lo svolgimento perfetto Pi di una volta ho sorriso o ridacchiato in pubblico e in privato, attirando lo sguardo confuso di quei pendolari che non sanno tramutare il tempo di viaggio in tempo di lettura poverini.Che la letteratura russa sapesse farmi piangere assodato, che sappia anche farmi ridere una piacevolissima scoperta Ostap un truffatore dalla creativit inesauribile, certo, ma la cosa che mi ha coinvolto maggiormente l ironia degli autori che pervade ogni pagina Non c aspetto della vita sovietica, dalla burocrazia alle guide di viaggio, che non venga sapientemente commentata E quante cose sono ancora sorprendentemente attuali Varb t tu v l gribi atsl gas no dz vok a, kur atrodas nauda Krieviski gan, manupr t, fr ze izklaus s v l lab k, tom r tie i ar o fr zi man asoci jas is rom ns o tekstu es zin ju jau no pamatskolas vecuma Gr matu pirmo reizi izlas ju, kad man bija k di desmit gadi Iepatik s, p c p ris gadiem izlas ju v lreiz Pirms k diem pieciem gadiem k d gr matn c ieraudz ju jaunizdotu uzlaboto divpadsmit kr slu variantu krievu valod Ilgi dom ju ieg d t vai ne, bet las m v l bija diezgan, un atlik s Tom r, kad uzzin ju, ka Zvaigzne ABC ir izdevusi o darbu piln b ar koment riem, uzreiz grib j s izlas t o gr matu.Dom ju, ka katram, kur kaut vai nedaudz ir las jis, gr mata ir paz stama Ja ne pati gr mata, tad t s varo u v rdi un izteikumi gan Gr matas galvenais varonis ir Ipolits Matvejevi s Vorobja inovs saukts ar par Kisu Izbijis Stargorodas mui niec bas priek s d t js, tagad pils tas N dzimtsarakstu noda as ier dnis P c savas sievasm tes n ves uzzina par t s briljantu likteni Tie izr d s ie ti vien no divpadsmit kr sliem, kas reiz dai oju i vi a viesistabu Iesp ja atkal k t bag tam vi a liek doties ce Ja nu k ds nezina, Kisa savulaik bijis izslav ts iz rd t js, un v lmi dz vot labi vi pie padomju vald bas v l nav zaud jis Ostaps Benders, Turcijas pavalstnieka d ls, cilv ks, kur ciena Krimin lkodeksu, par iesp ju k t bag tam uzzina nejau i Tom r varenais kombinators ir gatavs piedal ties aj pas kum par nieka 50% Ir ar konkurents t vs Fjodors, kur par briljantiem uzzin jis pirmsn ves gr ks dz gr matas izdevuma liel kie plusi ir pirmk rt priek v rds, kas las t jam ieskic gr mat aprakst t laika re lijas Uzzin m gan par politiskaj m aktualit t m, m kslinieciskaj m un literat ras tendenc m No t k st skaidrs, k d visp r du gr matu ir at vu i lai ar izcenz tu public t Otrk rt daudz s zemsv tras piez mes, kas izskaidro izteikto fr u noz mi vai k du v sturisku faktu T s gr matai piedod papildus v rt bu, jo ne visi m s esam Majkovska dai rades speci listi vai liter ro izdevumu v stures p rzin t ji Tre k rt padomju varas izcenz t s vietas T s visas ir saliktas atpaka tekst , un darbu varam las t t du, k to ir iecer ju i autori Veselas divas noda as ir velt tas Kisas pirmsrevol cijas dz vei Atlikti atpaka ar da i anekdotiski atgad jumi un p ris t laika liter tu netie s kritikas Tas viss pie ir gr matas las anas procesam papildus dimensiju, tu esi ne tikai labi izsm jies, bet ar nedaudz izgl tojies.Ja v l neesi o gr matu las jis, tad tas noteikti ir j izdara Tas nekas, ka notikumi aptver p crevol cijas Padomju valsti laik 1927 gadam Tas ir laiks, kad Trockisti un Sta ina piekrit ji c n j s par ietekmi Izr d s, ka gr mata ir trockistu kritika un t d bijusi t laika vald bai pa pr tam Dz ve ai valst ir atainota vis sav kr um , gan to, k main ju ies cilv ku ieradumi, gan viet jo uz mumu finans anas strukt ra, cilv ku attieksme pret pirmsrevol cijas laiku, vec s elites klus s alkas tikt atpaka aug pie varas, visai plauksto o noziedz bu un kr pniec bu.Gr matai lieku 10 no 10 ball m un noteikti p c p ris gadiem p rlas u v l gan ir no t m, kuru ies kot las t, ir gr ti nolikt no malas, pat ja zini vi u gandr z no galvas Man gan izdev s sevi p rvar t un izlas t to divos pieg jienos Plus v l ir viena no retaj m gr mat m, kuru lasot man tie m n k smiekli, ka nevaru notur ties.