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Old December 15th 10, 09:33 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,soc.culture.russian,soc.culture.usa,alt.chess
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Default Little Golden America by Ilya Ilf and Eugene Petrov

Little Golden America
two famous Soviet humourists survey the United States
by Ilya Ilf and Eugene Petrov.
Odnoetazhnya Amerika (One-storied America) First published in the
U.S.S.R. 1936. Little Golden America. First published in England in
1944. Translated from the Russian by Charles Malamuth

This is one of the most popular books ever published in the Soviet
Union. It remains popular in Russia today. We Americans cannot figure
out what makes it so popular. It is a good book, interesting and well
written, but does not contain anything so outstanding as to make it
the most popular book ever written. Yet every Russian seems to have
read or to be familiar with “Little Golden America”.

The book is virtually unknown in America. I first learned of it while
attending the World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk in Siberia in
Russia, held September 23 to October 4, 2010. One of the great things
the organizers did for the chess players was they hired 124 English
speaking Siberian girls they called “tutors”. Most of them were
college students, around age 20. Every team in the Olympiad was
assigned a tutor, who was given the job of taking care of us. Anything
our little hearts desired, we had only to ask our tutor for it and it
would be provided!!!

What was especially remarkable about this is that all of these tutors
were beautiful. This remarkable fact was the subject of much
discussion amongst the chess players. Had they screened the tutors so
that only the beautiful ones were hired? Or, is it simply the fact
that all Siberian girls are beautiful?

In either case, it seemed that all of them had read or were familiar
with “Little Golden America”. That is how I learned about this book.

It describes the adventures of the two authors, Ilya Ilf and Eugene
Petrov, who arrived in New York City on the passenger ship Normandie.
After one month in New York, they bought a car and started traveling
around the United States. They went to Chicago and San Francisco and
then swept back through the Southern States. When they arrived back in
New York they said that they had traveled ten thousand miles:


OUR JOURNEY came to an end. Within two months we had been in twenty-
five states and several hundred towns, we had breathed the dry air of
deserts and prairies, and crossed the Rocky Mountains, had seen
Indians, had talked with the young unemployed, with the old
capitalists, with radical intellectuals, with revolutionary workers,
with poets, with writers, with engineers. We had examined factories
and parks, had admired roads and bridges, had climbed up the Sierra
Nevadas and descended into the Carlsbad Caves. We had traveled ten
thousand miles. And throughout that entire journey we never once
stopped thinking of the Soviet Union.

We had traveled over American highways but in our thoughts were Soviet
highways. We spent nights in American hotels, but we thought about
Soviet hotels. We examined Ford's factories, but in our thoughts w€
saw ourselves in our own automobile factories, and while conversing
with Indians we thought of Kazakstan. Through the tremendous distance
that separated us from Soviet soil we envisioned it with especial
incisiveness. It is necessary to see the capitalist world in order to
appreciate in a new way the world of socialism. All the attributes of
the socialist arrangement of our life, which man ceases to notice
because of daily contact with them, seem especially significant at a
distance.


The book seems very factual. It is certainly not propaganda. It is
probably one of the few books that Soviet readers were allowed to read
to learn about America that were not propaganda.

The same two authors were already famous for their previous works.
They always wrote together, never as individuals. They do not explain
where they got all the money from to do the things that they did. They
probably worked during the initial month they spent in New York, as
they seemed to have arrived with little money.

Ilya Ilf (Ilya Arnoldovich Faynzilberg (Russian: Илья Арнольдович
Файнзильберг, Ukrainian: Ієхієл-Лейб Арно́льдович Файнзільберг ,
Ukrainian: ; 1897–1937) and Evgeny or Yevgeni Petrov (Yevgeniy
Petrovich Kataev or Katayev (Russian: Евгений Петрович Катаев ,
Ukrainian: Євген Петрович Катаєв ; 1903–1942) were two Soviet prose
authors of the 1920s and 1930s. They did much of their writing
together, and are almost always referred to as "Ilf and Petrov". They
became extremely popular for their two satirical novels: The Twelve
Chairs and its sequel, The Little Golden Calf. The two texts are
connected by their main character, Ostap Bender, a con man in pursuit
of elusive riches.

Both books follow exploits of Bender and his associates looking for
treasure amidst the contemporary Soviet reality. They were written and
are set in the relatively liberal era in Soviet history, the New
Economic Policy of the 1920s. The main characters generally avoid
contact with the apparently lax law enforcement. Their position
outside the organized, goal-driven, productive Soviet society is
emphasized. It also gives the authors a convenient platform from which
to look at this society and to make fun of its less attractive and
less Socialist aspects. These are among the most widely read and
quoted books in Russian culture. The Twelve Chairs was adapted for
popular films both in the USSR and in the U.S. (by Mel Brooks in the
latter).

The two writers also traveled across the Depression-era USA. Ilf took
many pictures throughout the journey, and the authors produced a photo
essay entitled "American Photographs," published in Ogonyok magazine.
Shortly after that they published the book Одноэтажная Америка ;
literally: "One-storeyed America", translated as Little Golden America
(an allusion to The Little Golden Calf). The first edition of the book
did not include Ilf's photographs. Both the photo essay and the book
document their adventures with their characteristic humor and
playfulness. Notably, Ilf and Petrov were not afraid to praise many
aspects of the American lifestyle in these works. The title comes from
the following description.

America is primarily a one-and two-story country. The majority of the
American population lives in small towns of three thousand, maybe
five, nine, or fifteen thousand inhabitants.

Ilf died of tuberculosis shortly after the trip to America; Petrov
died in a plane crash in 1942 while he was covering the Eastern Front.

A minor planet 3668 Ilfpetrov, discovered by Soviet astronomer
Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina in 1982 is named after them.

Одноэтажная Америка (literally: "One-storeyed America") Translation:
Little Golden America (1937)

3668 Ilfpetrov (1982 UM7) is a main-belt asteroid discovered on
October 21, 1982 by Karachkina, L. G. at Nauchnyj. The asteroid is
named for Ilf and Petrov, two collaborative Soviet satirists best
known for their novel, The Twelve Chairs.

Sam Sloan

ISBN 4-87187-674-8
978-4-87187-674-2

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...SBN=4871876748
http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871876748
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Old December 15th 10, 09:39 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,soc.culture.russian,soc.culture.usa,alt.chess
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Default Little Golden America by Ilya Ilf and Eugene Petrov


...We Americans cannot figure
out what makes it so popular. It is a good book, interesting and well
written, but does not contain anything so outstanding ...


You're FIRED!!
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Old December 15th 10, 01:44 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,soc.culture.russian,soc.culture.usa,alt.chess
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jun 2009
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Default Little Golden America by Ilya Ilf and Eugene Petrov

On Dec 15, 4:33*am, samsloan wrote:

The book seems very factual. It is certainly not propaganda.


The excerpt you provide is nothing but propaganda.

OUR JOURNEY came to an end. Within two months we had been in twenty-
five states and several hundred towns, we had breathed the dry air of
deserts and prairies, and crossed the Rocky Mountains, had seen
Indians, had talked with the young unemployed, with the old
capitalists, with radical intellectuals, with revolutionary workers,
with poets, with writers, with engineers. We had examined factories
and parks, had admired roads and bridges, had climbed up the Sierra
Nevadas and descended into the Carlsbad Caves. We had traveled ten
thousand miles. And throughout that entire journey we never once
stopped thinking of the Soviet Union.

We had traveled over American highways but in our thoughts were Soviet
highways. We spent nights in American hotels, but we thought about
Soviet hotels. We examined Ford's factories, but in our thoughts w
saw ourselves in our own automobile factories, and while conversing
with Indians we thought of Kazakstan. Through the tremendous distance
that separated us from Soviet soil we envisioned it with especial
incisiveness. It is necessary to see the capitalist world in order to
appreciate in a new way the world of socialism. All the attributes of
the socialist arrangement of our life, which man ceases to notice
because of daily contact with them, seem especially significant at a
distance.

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