Rus Articles Journal

What secrets are hidden by the fairy tale “Three Fat Men“? Yury Olesha`s memories. Part 1

Yury Karlovic Olesha left us quite modest creative heritage - in fact, only two significant works of art. But they quite were enough firmly to stake out to itself the place in the Russian literature. Already the first novel “Envy“ covered his name with loud glory and brought the impressive fees. N. Berberova remembered how, at the end of 1920 - x years, in one edition discussed V. Nabokov`s novel “Luzhin`s Protection“, and someone from writers said: “Is not present. This, perhaps, will not become “our Olesha“.

Very few people then suspected that so prompt take-off will be followed by silence. Argue on its reasons still - but I would not begin to separate external from internal. There was also an esthetic divergence with “the party line“, and the painful desire is divergence to be overcome. Olesha constantly repents of this “sin“ at literary congresses, in a fuse of repentance condemns the friend Shostakovich in “formalism“, promises to write books “necessary to the people“, but... practically writes nothing. What prevented to write stronger? Soviet policy? Promptly developing alcoholism? Or notorious perfectionism to which Olesha was subject? Like the hero of the novel A. Camus “Plague“, he at times painfully composed the unique phrase (“I in folders have at least three hundred pages marked with figure “I“. These are three hundred beginnings of “Envy“. And any of these pages did not become the final beginning“).

So was not always. Therefore we will wind off our film back, and we will return to that “difficult and happy“ (according to the writer) time when the second great thing which provided to Olesha immortality is created.

Competing to Andersen

Having been born in 1899 in Elisavetgrade (future Kirovohrad), Olesha practically all childhood and the beginning of youth lived in Odessa and not without pride considered himself as the inhabitant of Odessa. Very quickly it surrounded itself(himself) with people, obsessed literature and poetry. And what it were people! Bagritsky, Katayev, Ilf, Petrov... They were young, cheerful, full of ambitions therefore also revolution of 1917 was met with delight. When Olesha`s parents are impoverished Polish noblemen - will emigrate to Poland, Yury will not go with them. To become the exile when here his friends, his love, his literary future? Is not present!

Time, we will repeat, was for Olesha happy, but difficult. All his Odessa company at first moves to Kharkiv, and then in 1922 (at the suggestion of Katayev) - to Moscow.

There inhabitants of Odessa together with Kiev residents - Bulgakov and Paustovsky - settle in the newspaper of railroad workers “Beep“, being engaged in literary processing of the arriving information. Olesha takes himself the pseudonym “Chisel“ and, despite so talented environment, its sketches and feuilletons go out of competition. He in general was the real “king of an impromptu“ and easily could pripechatat any a well-aimed and ironic mot.

In young years, as well as many, Olesha wrote verses, but in 1924 he writes on the poetic collection presented to Bulgakov: “Mishenka, I will nevermore write abstract lyrical verses. It is necessary for nobody. Prose - here the real scope for poetry!“ The first opportunity to verify this statement in practice appeared somehow by itself …

So, once in a window of the neighbour`s house Olesha saw the charming girl - the teenager which with enthusiasm read some book. As it appeared, the girl called Wal Gryunzayd, and Andersen`s fairy tales were the book. Fascinated by the girl, Olesha right there promised that he will write for it the fairy tale not worse than the great Dane. And, not burdened by thoughts of perfection and the line of party, right there was accepted for good reason.

At that time they together with Ilya Ilf lived in the improvised hostel for homeless writers - directly in the building of printing house of “Beep“. This room which is fenced off by a thin partition and deprived of furniture will halloo in “12 chairs“ soon, having turned into “Berthold Schwartz`s Hostel“. And then it was the place of emergence of the promised fairy tale. Having gathered paper rolls in printing house, Olesha directly on a floor scribbled a story about three cruel Fat men, the brave gymnast Tibule and a doll Suok.

Yu. Olesha: “The keg was rolled by

on me, I held it with a hand... Wrote with other hand. It was cheerful, and the fact that to me it is cheerful, I shared with cheerful Ilf“.

B 1924 - m to year rolls were used up, and manuscripts are sent to publishing house of children`s literature. But in those days the genre of the fairy tale was not still “rehabilitated“. Any inventions and mysticism were considered not necessary to the young builder of new society. Even the fact that the fairy tale was full revolutionary romanticism and it is almost deprived of habitual magic, did not help. The glory of already mentioned “Envy“ which left in 1927 helped. And then afterwards - in a year - in Earth and Factory publishing house with a circulation of 7 thousand copies there was a magnificent edition of “Three Fat men“ with Mstislav Dobuzhinsky`s drawings. On the first edition, as well as Olesha promised, Valentine Leontyevne Gryunzayd`s dedication flaunted.

By then the girl Valya became a girl, but married not the storyteller, and his friend - well-known Evgeny Petrov.

And soon dedication changed.

Yury Karlovic in general was not really lucky in love... Suok

“He told

of the Spring of a doll a strange name, said two sounds as though he opened a small wooden round box which difficult reveals:

- Suok!“
Images of the girl - the acrobat Suok and her mechanical double were born

not just not casually, and are the real quintessence of feelings, impressions and memoirs of the writer. Let`s begin with the fact that else in the childhood Olesha fell in love with the golden-haired girl - the circus actor. What shock when he learned that he her was was... the disguised boy - vulgar and very unpleasant.

The following reminiscence transfers us already to Moscow - to Mylnikovsky Lane where there lived Valentin Katayev. Some time lived in its apartment many homeless writers including Olesha. The doll from a papya - Masha was one of sights of the apartment (it other “lodger“ - Ilf`s brother - the artist Maf brought). The doll was so similar to the living girl that writers had quite often a good time, seating her on a window of which it continually dropped out - naturally, causing genuine horror in passersby.

Well also should not forget about that huge impact which was exerted on Olesha`s creativity by Hoffman adored by it, and it is concrete - a mechanical doll Olympia from the terrible story “Sand Little Man“ which also replaced to the hero his living beloved.

With a doll and circus everything is clear, but from where this strange name - “Suok“ undertook?

Yu. Olesha “Three Fat men“: “Forgive to

me, Tutti, - that in language of the disadvantaged means: “Separated“. Forgive me, Suok, - that means: “All life“... “

A of the girl Suok really existed. And not one, and whole three! Lydia, Olga and Serafima Suok were daughters of the Austrian emigrant and lived in Odessa. There they could not pass by the well-known literary company - and subsequently all married writers.

Olesha was in love in younger of sisters - to Sim. It is in love passionately and it is even painful. He called it “my friend“ (almost the same as Tibul called book Suok). The first years they were happy, but Sima was, to put it mildly, the changeable personality. Once hungry writers decided “to untwist“ for fun the accountant Mack - the owner of grocery cards, valuable those years. Using that he is fascinated by Sima, they were to it on a visit, have densely a bite and suddenly noticed that Mack and Sima are absent. Later time the couple returned and declared that they … the husband and the wife. In those days registration of marriage or divorce took several minutes (you remember the movie “Can Not Be“ on Zoshchenko`s stories?) . The joke turned back misfortune for Olesha.

Not in forces to see a grief of the friend, Katayev went to Mack and just took away Sima from there. That not too resisted, but managed to take with herself everything acquired for a short time family life.

Again found happiness lasted at Olesha not for long. Sima unexpectedly marries again and again not Olesha - and the “demonic“ revolutionary poet V. Narbut (by the way, he will publish the fairy tale “Three Fat Men“ subsequently). Olesha could return it and this time, but by the evening Katayev`s house had gloomy Narbut and told that if Sima does not return, he will blow out the brains. It was told so convincingly that Sima left Olesha - this time forever. Between love and comfort the real Suok preferred the last. After Narbut will disappear in camps, and Lida is elder sister (and the wife E. Bagritsky) - will go to strive for it and itself will ring out for 17 years, Sima will marry the writer N. Hardzhiyev. Then for other writer - V. Shklovsky...

And left Sima Olesha Suok - Olga - “Will ask average from sisters once and you would not throw me?“ - and, having received the affirmative answer, marries it. Olga until the end of life will remain the patient, careful and loving wife though will always know that new dedication on the fairy tale “Three Fat Men“ - “Olga Gustavn Suok“ - concerns not only to her. “You are two halves of my soul“ - Olesha honestly spoke.

Already become an inveterate drunkard old man he will call on Serafima Shklovskaya - Suok, long with her to speak about something while her husband tactfully waits in other room. Seeing off Olesha, Sima cried, and that fastidiously held a large banknote in hand...

The song from m / F “Separated“:

“The girl and the boy was secretly separated,

taught to be to it the sister a doll.

the Doll speaking - cries and laughs.

the Girl leaves - the doll remains...

The fall fades, spring blossom...

Where our brothers? Where our sisters?

the Fairy tale proceeds, the song is sung...

Time leaves - the doll remains“.