Rus Articles Journal

What secrets are hidden by the fairy tale “Three Fat Men“? Part 2

Other secrets of “Three Fat men“

From F. Gopp`s memoirs:

“Much of what is read by the writer forever sinks down in his memory. Moreover - then it is reflected in his creativity, of course, being transformed. It is not plagiarism at all, and any special transformation of a subject. It concerned the author of the read book, then excited the writer who read this book. Sooner or later it, having transformed a subject, creates the work. Olesha opened before me Herbert Wells`s story “Wonderful visit“. Chapter 1 was called “Night of a strange bird“. Then took the book “Three Fat Men“ from the shelf and showed in it a chapter 7 - “Night of a strange doll“.
By no means not only an image of a doll Suok made by

Olesha`s fairy tale madly popular and original.

In - the first, “Three Fat men“, in fact, the first fairy tale which core is the revolution subject. Fat men - fat and heartless - as though descended from caricatures of “GROWTH Windows“ or Mayakovsky`s poems.

S. Aksyonenko “Totalitarianism and authoritarianism“:

“... Yu. Olesha gave the classical description of modern oligarchy, Fat men operate the country first of all owing to the financial power:

“- You forgot with whom you want to be at war. We, Three Fat men, are strong and powerful. All belongs to us. I, the First Fat man, own all bread to which our earth will give rise. The second Fat man possesses all coal, and the Third bought up all iron. We are the richest! The most rich person in the country is poorer than us a hundred times. For our gold we can buy all that we want!“. (in the play written by Olesha later Fat men are even more concretized - they bear the names “General, Melnik and Cardinal“ reflecting three branches of the power - military, civil and church - S. K.) .

Fat men, using the wealth, form the government subordinated to them. However and this ideal oligarchy has to be replaced by authoritative board, establishment of the monarchy, three Fat men have one successor - Tutti“. Fat men are childless

therefore they steal the boy and seek to deprive in every way of it soul - raise in an environment of animals and dolls, convince that it has an iron heart.

In the first defeat of insurgent people it is possible to see parallels with revolution of 1905, in transition of soldiers to the party of risen - reality of February revolution of 1917, and in attempt of rich men to get away by the ships - the Odessa scenes of 1920

And, in fact, in the fairy tale there is nothing frankly magic. Olesha and writes: “Time of wizards passed. Most likely, they never also were actually“. The place of the wizard is taken here by the scientist - the so-called representative of the sympathizing intellectuals, doctor Gaspar. All “magic“ in this fairy tale - only focus, substitution - both “iron heart“ of the successor Tutti, and a doll - the copy of the real sister Tutti - Suok, and the seller of spheres “turned“ into cake.

In the fairy tale we then, there face personal impressions of the writer. In many city boundaries of Three Fat men (lamps, huge hours where Suok hides, the destroyed tower) Olesha displayed favourite Odessa. Among literary influences, except the mentioned Hoffman, we meet and “93 - y year“ V. Hugo, and “Cold heart“ of V. Gauf, and the “Golem“ Mr. Mayrink.

Exotic names of characters are not casual too. The armorer Prospero bears a name of the wizard from “Storm“ Shakespeare, the doctor`s housekeeper the aunt Ganymede - a name of the servant - the cupbearer at the Olympic gods. And here the captain Bonaventura bears a name of the medieval church philosopher, probably, just for fun.

As a result, despite, apparently, serious revolutionary theme, the fairy tale began to sound easily, colourfully, karnavalno.

In the fairy tale, in not smaller degree, than in “Envy“, one of the main advantages of prose of Olesha - ability to invest images with refined and at the same time well-aimed metaphors was shown. As a result usual finds surprise for the reader - and he looks, feels, smells, represented by the author as for the first time. In spite of the fact that similar “juiciness“ of perception is inherent generally in the childhood, only at adult age it is possible to estimate fully magnificent style of this fairy tale (in the childhood everything is more dynamics and windings of a plot carries away). Here several samples of style of Olesha offhand:

“... the grass was such green that in a mouth even the feeling of sweet of“

“At the captain Bonaventura appeared there was a terrible voice. If the violin caused a toothache, then from this voice the feeling of the beaten-out tooth turned out“.

“Then wind was engaged in stars. It blew into them, rolled, failed for black triangles of roofs. When this game bothered, he invented clouds. But clouds collapsed as towers. Here wind became cold at once: it grew cold with rage“.

“At one of them under an eye bruise in the form of an ugly rose or a beautiful frog darkened“.

“Couples span. Them was very much and they so sweated that it was possible to think: cooks some motley and, has to be, tasteless soup“.

Talent to feel the world openly, frankly and extraordinary did not abandon the writer and in old age. Even in the last pessimistic diary entry he remained the great artist:

“There is nothing - either friendship, or love … There is only an opportunity to lift from the earth in a shadow of a huge tree a green sphere which I saw for the first time in life. Who are you, a green sphere?“

“Fat men“ on a scene and the screen

From the press Olesha`s fairy tale stepped almost at once on a scene. In 1930 at the Moscow Art Theatre the premiere of a performance on “Three Fat men“ took place, and in 1935 already in the Bolshoi Theatre based on the fairy tale the ballet was put. In 1956. “three Fat men“ became the opera, and in 1963 and 3. Brumberg shot according to the fairy tale the drawn animated film close on a plot to the book. Olesha began to script the animated film, but its could not complete, for it it was made by V. Shklovsky (the last husband of that Sima Suok).

However the fairy tale received the real rebirth in 1966 when the director Alexey Batalov shot the well-known movie on which not one generation of the Soviet children grew.

Batalov cherished dream to make statement on “Three Fat men“ in youth when he worked in Art theater. After leaving theater it did not leave dream, but now decided to shoot the movie. He not only removed it, but also itself acted in an image of the gymnast Tibul for what to Batalov it was necessary to become valid... rope-walker! All reason was in what the combined shootings for the color film then did worse than ever.

A. Batalov:

“For installation were prepared by shots with us, it was the shame! Brick faces, blue legs. And it is the central scene, all plot on it is tied. I was very young and ran risks. In senses it, of course, could not be made. More than a year I learned to go on a wire. Also learned! In a shot where I come from an attic to a rope over the area it is visible that there is no insurance“.
For a role Suok was chosen by

the Lithuanian girl Lina Braknite, and she had to sweat fairly too, mastering circus acrobatics and juggling. The benefit, near at hand there was always a tutor - Batalov`s wife and in combination the circus actress. However on circus preparation of difficulty did not end. As the model of a doll left not really similar to the actress, in the majority of scenes Lina had to play also for a doll. The heaviest was to keep an unwinking gaze for what to the poor girl pasted a special film on eyelids.

Also the page was necessary to tinker it. tiger! If in the book of a predator the armorer Prospero conducted, then in the movie this ungrateful part was assigned Suok. The girl with a tiger on a lead, of course, looked very effectively.

Lina Braknite:

“In an episode when I, saving prisoners from cages in a menagerie, face a tiger, I turned to a tiger a back. I was not warned that it cannot be done. And suddenly I feel - on shoulders huge heavy paws laid down. For fear I did not understand how I flew up upward on a lattice. Half an hour departed. But it was necessary to enter a cage again, to remove still doubles“.

Only what the young actress not up to the end coped with... Alice Freindlich.

While Batalov and Braknite exhausted themselves trainings, the actors playing a role of Three Fat men (Hristoforov, Morgunov and Kulagin), opposite were told to grow stout urgently. They did not gain the necessary volumes therefore for them sewed special reinforced suits.

The plot of the movie was considerably changed. The image of the cruel and cynical general of Karask - as a matter of fact, the real governor of the city was entered. It breaks Tutti`s doll and shoots at the successor then that says - “Look, it is blood... It is not iron, it is the present! “ (one of the brightest scenes of the movie which are absent in the primary source).

As a result the movie became more rectilinear, tragic notes were strengthened, an adventure and social outline are deepened. And here the gofmanovsky atmosphere (it a little slips in a scene where Suok whistles on a key at night) together with juicy metaphoric language practically disappeared.

But the gofmanovsky horror was at full capacity developed in m / f “Separated“, removed based on the fairy tale in 1980 by the director N. Serebryakov. The world of Fat men, the world surrounding the successor Tutti is presented here in the form of awful semi-dolls - semi-mechanisms and causes obvious mystical horror. I think that children have a similar art - the house caused strange feelings. However, a song “Live in a magic box“ performed by M. Boyarsky remembered many.

How inexhaustible on interpretation can be the nursery (or perhaps not absolutely children`s?) fairy tale!