Home » Russia » Ilf and Petrov

Ilf and Petrov

Biography

Ilf and Petrov are Ilya Ilf, born Ilya Arnoldovich Faynzilberg in Odessa in 1897, and Yevgeny Petrov, born Yevgeny Petrovich Kataev in Odessa in 1903. Ilf’s father was a bank clerk. Ilf worked at various jobs, while writing poems and humorous stories, He went to Moscow where he worked for a railway journal and then as a librarian. At this time, he was sharing a room with Yury Olesha. Petrov, the son of a school teacher, worked as a criminal investigator before moving to Moscow, where his brother, Valentin Kataev, lived. It was his brother who persuaded him to take up writing. It is not clear whether Ilf and Petrov met in Odessa or in Moscow – neither claims to remember – but we know they started writing Двенадцать стульев (The Twelve Chairs) in 1927. It was shown to Kataev, who was impressed, and was published in a journal before being published in book form, when it had great success. Their greatest success was with Золотой телёнок (The Little Golden Calf; The Golden Calf) first published in a journal in 1931 but not in book form till 1933, as they changed the ending to the one we now know, though it appeared in English and German in 1932. In 1933/1934, they travelled to various European countries and in 1935/1936 to the USA, which was the subject of their book Одноэтажная Америка (Little Golden America; later: Ilf and Petrov’s American Road Trip). Ilf was ill by the time they returned, so they wrote the book separately. Ilf died in 1937. Petrov continued writing and worked as a war correspondent during World War II. In 1942, he went on a visit to south Russia but his plane crashed on the way back, flying low to avoid being taken for a German plane by anti-aircraft defences. Petrov was the only person to die in the crash.

Other links

Ilf and Petrov
Ilf and Petrov
Ilf and Petrov
American Photographs: The Road (about their travels to the USA and subsequent book about their travels)
Ilf And Petrov’s Excellent Adventure: A Look Back At Soviet Writers’ 1935 U.S. Trip (about their travels to the USA and subsequent book about their travels)
Ильф и Петров (in Russian)
Ильф и Петров (in Russian)
Сборник воспоминаний об И.Ильфе и Е.Петрове (in Russian)
Биография, Илья Арнольдович Файнзильберг, Катаев Евгений Петрович (Ильф и Петров). Полные и краткие биографии русских писателей и поэтов (in Russian)

Bibliography

1928 Двенадцать стульев (The Twelve Chairs)
1928 Необыкновенные истории из жизни города Колоколамска
1928 Светлая личность
1929 Тысяча и один день, или Новая Шахерезада
1929 1001 день, или, Новая Шахерезада : повести, водевили, сценарии
1932 Золотой телёнок (The Little Golden Calf; The Golden Calf)
1936 Цирк
1937 Тоня
1937 Одноэтажная Америка (Little Golden America; later: Ilf and Petrov’s American Road Trip)
1944 Чудесные гости: рассказы
1947 Антилопа-гну
1961 Совершенно серьёзно (очерк Как создавался Робинзон)
1965 Пиать рассказов
1972 Ехали в трамвае Ильф и Петров (по мотивам рассказов и фельетонов)
1988 Светлая личность