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 Ilya Ilf


Born:   October 15, 1897
Deceased:   April 13, 1937

Soviet writer and journalist

      

Ilya Ilf (his real name was Ilya Arnoldovich Fayzilberg) was born on October (3) 15, 1897 in Odessa, into the family of a bank employee.


In 1913, having graduated from a technical school, he started his job activity, often changing the working place: a drawing bureau, a telephone exchange, an aircraft factory, etc. he worked as a statistician, the editor of the Sindetikon comic magazine, where he published the verses under a female nickname, and an accountant.
 
In 1923 Ilya became a professional writer. Having moved to Moscow, he constantly worked in the Gudok newspaper, but had his sketches and feuilletons printed in different editions. Already as an editor he revealed his tendency to satire. As a result of his business trip to Central Asia there came a series of sketches under the title Moscow-Asia (1925).
 
In 1925 Ilya Ilf met his future coauthor Yevgeny Petrov, but only in a year (because Petrov had to serve in the army) their joint activity began. 
 
The first considerable result of the collaboration of Ilf and Petrov was the novel Twelve Chairs published in 1928 in the 30 Days magazine, and immediately won recognition of readers, though critics turned unable to see the true value of the novel. Outstanding poet Vladimir Mayakovsky supported the book by young writers.
 
In the 1920s they wrote a number of feuilletons and stories together and had them printed in the Pravda newspaper and The Literary newspaper. In 1931 the second novel by Ilfa and Petrov – Gold Calf was published and appreciated by critics and hailed as a masterpiece by Maxim Gorky, Mikhail Zoshchenko, and A. Barbyus.
 
In 1935 the writers made a journey to the USA, which later resulted in the book One-Storeyed America (1936). 
 
Ilya Ilf suffered from lungs tuberculosis, which became aggravated during the American travel, and brought him to death on April 13, 1937 in Moscow.
 
The interest in the authors of the popular Soviet novels Twelve Chairs and Gold Calf have not faded away over the years: it has been expressed in publications of their books, as well as in stage performances and screen versions.


Tags: Ilya Ilf Russian Literature Ilf and Petrov   




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