Interesting facts about the novel "The Golden Calf"

In 1928, the novel "Twelve Chairs" by young Soviet writers Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov was first published. And soon after its release, the authors had a plan - to continue the story of the adventures of the "great schemer" Ostap Bender. Ilf and Petrov recalled that work on the novel "The Twelve Chairs" progressed very quickly, but with "The Golden Calf" they had to suffer, the plot had to be invented slowly and persistently.

At the very beginning of the novel, Ostap Bender finds himself in a town called Arbatov. But, in fact, there was no such city in our country and there is no such city. Saratov ethnographer Boris Donetskiy conducted a whole literary investigation and now has no doubt that Arbatov is his native Saratov. But Chernomorsk, where Bender and his accomplices went to look for the underground millionaire Alexander Ivanovich Koreiko, was written off from Odessa.

Ilya Ilf visited Saratov in 1925 as a correspondent for the Gudok newspaper. Here he met Zakhary Ivanov, who carried passengers on an old "Lorraine-Dietrich" car. He became the prototype of the intelligent motorist Adam Kozlevich with his car, which Bender called "Gnu Antelope".

Odessa was the birthplace of Ilf and Petrov. And in this city, before the revolution, a gang was raging under the leadership of Mikalina Kovskoy. The bandits called the victim of the robbery "a goose". Ilya Ilf, being a sixteen-year-old teenager, turned to Kovskoy, whom he knew personally, with a request to accept him into the gang. For which he received a slap on the head from her. The distressed young man threw in the heat of the moment: "I will still sell and buy you all!" In The Golden Calf, this phrase was expressed by Panikovsky, who was a great lover of geese.

But for Yevgeny Petrov and his relatives, the memories of Mikalina Kovskoy were much sadder. During a bank robbery, the writer's sister happened to be nearby and died from a stray bullet.

"Children of Lieutenant Schmidt" really roamed the country after the 1905 revolution. The scammers tried to earn some money on the popularity that the leader of the uprising gained on the cruiser Ochakov. There were not only "sons", but also "daughters" of the hero of the first Russian revolution.

Vasisualy Lokhankin is far from the main character of the work, but it was around this hero of the novel that a real discussion unfolded. Many critics reproached the authors for the fact that the image of Lokhankin was clearly ordered, in order to ridicule the representatives of the "rotten intelligentsia."

In the novel, Ostap Bender opened a fictitious office for the preparation of horns and hooves. This is not just a fantasy of writers, in 1921, in fact, the Decree of the Council of People's Commissars was issued, according to which it was allowed to buy and sell bristles, hair, horns and hooves by private individuals. At the time of writing the novel, the Bolsheviks had already closed the private enterprises allowed during the NEP, but the horns with hooves were not banned.

The position of Zits-Chairman appeared at the end of the 19th century in Germany, and then migrated to our country. The zits-chairmen were in special demand in the era of the NEP in the USSR. They did not have the right to make any serious decisions, but they, if necessary, could be sent to jail instead of the real leaders. These are the services that the elderly Pound offered Bender.

Among the possible prototypes of Alexander Ivanovich Koreiko, Konstantin Mikhailovich Korovko is named. He began his entrepreneurial activity even before the revolution, having appropriated the funds of several joint-stock companies. He continued his underground business after 1917. In 1920 he was put on trial, released in 1923 and left for Romania.

The novel was first published in 1931 in the popular Soviet magazine 30 Days. The authors received many letters from readers asking them to continue the story of Ostap Bender. Sketches of the third novel appeared in the notebooks of Ilf and Petrov, but it was never written.

And in the late forties - early fifties, "The Golden Calf" was generally banned from publication. And in subsequent years, it underwent serious editing, many fragments were simply deleted. For example, the name of the establishment where Bender and Balaganov drank beer was deleted. And in the original version it was called "Iskra".

Censorship restrictions have led to the fact that for a long time none of the domestic directors took up the film adaptation of The Golden Calf. Only in 1968 was a two-part black-and-white film directed by Mikhail Schweitzer released. Not without "blunders". For example, Ostap Bender, who made his dream come true and finally became a millionaire, decided to buy an airplane. Viewers saw on the screen the An-2, which was released only in 1947, although the events unfold at the turn of the twenties and thirties.