Rus Articles Journal

How the Soviet pioneer of the genie re-educated? Lazar Lagin`s memories of

“At Soviet own pride“ - Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote once. It concerned fairy tales too. There was Soviet Pinocchio - Buratino, the Soviet Dulittl - Aybolit, the Soviet Wizard Oz - the Wizard of the Emerald city... Well, and the Soviet genie we were presented by the writer by the name of Lazar Iosifovich Lagin.

Of course, actually any he is not Lagin (with it - that a name - a middle name), and Ginzburg. From a name and a surname - Lazar Ginzburg - he also stuck together the literary pseudonym.

Our hero in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk in a poor Jewish family was born on December 4, 1903. Therefore it is no wonder that in historical battle the young man supported Bolsheviks. Right after leaving school 16 - summer Lazar goes to civil war, in a year enters Communist party (then RCP(b)), and later (!) - in Komsomol. What, in general, is unsurprising if to consider that the Komsomol organization arose after party. In fact, Lagin also created this Komsomol on Belarus.

Further career of Lagin develops not less violently and tsvetasto. He comes to the Minsk conservatory and throws it, without having mastered the theory of music. Then graduates from the Moscow Institute of a national economy majoring in “political economy“, serves in Red army, and, at last, in 1930 completely plunges into literary activity.

His career gradually goes up. Since 1934 Lagin is the deputy chief editor of the Krokodil magazine, since 1936 - go - the member of the Writers` Union, and in 1938 - the m leaves its fairy tale about Hasan Abdurrahman ibn Hottab...

On this place personally I begin to be confused. Not from - for lack of information on fairy tale history, and from - for discrepancy of different certificates.

We will begin with the fact that in the majority of sources is approved as if the plan of “Hottabycha“ was issued at the writer during business trip to Spitsbergen. Business trip was initiated by the chairman of the Writers` Union - Alexander Fadeyev - with the purpose to save Lagin from possible repressions from the power. The matter is that on a charge of espionage arrested the immediate superior Lazar Iosifovich - the editor-in-chief of “Crocodile“ Mikhail Koltsov, and there was a danger that people, close to it, will go to prison “engine“.

It would seem, everything meets - here from where in the fairy tale there was a travel of Hottabycha on “Ladoga“ to the Arctic where it tamed polar bears. If not one “but“...

It is known that the fairy tale was for the first time published in 1938 - at the same time in the Pionerskaya Pravda newspaper and the Kostyor magazine with drawings of the famous children`s artist Konstantin Rotov. And Mikhail Koltsov (by the way, ardent “Stalinist“) was arrested in December, 1938, that is when “Hottabych“ was already published. So hardly it was composed on Spitsbergen...

More clearly the situation with references “Hottabycha“ is. The first is, of course, the mentioned collection “Thousand and One Night“ with a magic lamp of Aladdin and a story about the fisherman who deceived the genie (this story is well-known on m - f “In the blue sea, in a white penalty fee“). The last history is mentioned, by the way, by the brother Hottabycha - Omar Yusuf. Ekaterina Dyce in the article “Stopped the Sun“ noted also direct use of some turns by Lagin from “1001 nights“ (for example, expressions “the history written by needles in corners of eyes“ ).

The second source of inspiration of “Hottabycha“ is the fantastic story of the English writer F. Anstey (a real name - Thomas Entri Guthrie) “A copper jug“, published in 1900.

Of course, “Hottabych“ and “A copper jug“ - different books, but are between them and coincidence.
In Anstey`s story of the genie free not the Soviet pioneer Volka, but the young London architect Horace sets. The genie call Fakrash - ale - Aamash, and on character it much surovy the good-natured person Hottabycha. But and that and another Suleyman - ibn - Daud ground in a jug (that is, the bible tsar Solomon, David`s son). At Anstey - on a spiteful slander there is nobody Dzhardzharis.

F. Anstya “A copper jug“:
“-... I had a relative, Bidiya - ale - Dzhemal which had incomparable beauty and diverse perfection. And as it, though dzhinnye, belonged to number true, I sent ambassadors to Suleyman Veliky, the son of Daud to whom I offered it in the spouses. But a certain Dzhardzharis, Redzhmus`s son, the son Ibrahim - yes he will be damned forever! - treated the maiden favourably and, having secretly gone to Suleyman, convinced him that I prepare for the tsar an artful trap on his death“.
to Pro Hottabycha zhe

knows only that it with the brother “disobeyed“ Solomon - any more than nothing concrete. But the old man constantly mentions the sworn enemy with the familiar name “Dzhirdzhis Ibn Redzhmus“ in the fairy tale. However, at Lagina Dzhirdzhis - not just a navetchik, and “the tsar of shaitans and ifrit“. Hottabych sees its intrigues in all that it seems to it terrible and unclear - whether it be the engine, the car or the automatic machine issuing tickets.

L. Lagin “Old man Hottabych“:
“- we Will go we will take a walk, about a crystal of my soul, - told the next day Hottabych.
- Only under one condition, - Volka firmly declared: - provided that you will not jump aside more from each bus as a rural horse … Though, perhaps, I in vain offended rural horses: they ceased to be afraid of cars for a long time. And it is time for you to get used that it is not dzhirdzhisa some, and honest Soviet internal combustion engines“.

By the way, in the biography of Hottabycha there are a lot of historical absurdities. In the fairy tale the genie is a Muslim and remembers the Baghdad Caliph Garun Al - Rashida - the real historical figure and at the same time the hero of fairy tales “1001 nights“. However, if still Solomon concluded in a bottle of the genie, then Hottabych could not practise Islam which appeared much later and especially could not the nobility Garuna.
By the way, about Caliphs. In Jerusalem and today it is possible to see Omar Square of ibn - Hattab. So called one more glorified and just Arab Caliph (585 - 644) who was personally turned into Islam by the prophet Muhammad. It is interesting that call Omar Yusuf the brother Hottabycha - the genie spiteful and harmful.

L. Lagin “Old man Hottabych“:
“- I was tired of dispute with you, about scientific the adolescent, - he said, forcedly yawning. - I was tired and I want to sleep. Get somewhat quicker fan and brush away me from flies, while I will indulge in a dream. there is no
- In - the first, flies here, and in - the second what right you have to give me orders? - outright Volka was indignant.
- Now will be flies, - Omar Yusuf haughty muttered“.

But we will return to comparison of two stories.
I at Anstey, and at Lagin is present the well-known scene with a caravan of camels, carrying gifts to the genie`s benefactor on streets of London (Moscow). Horace, as well as Volka, refuses to accept gifts. But they motivate the refusal differently.

F. Anstya “the Copper Jug“: to
“- I cannot be responsible for other people, - he told. - I know only that I did not get used to be rich, it is better for me to grow rich gradually so that to understand that I am obliged to all - as far as possible - to my own works. Because - I have nothing and to speak to you, Mr. Fakrash, - the wealth in itself does not bring to people of happiness. You had to notice that it can … well, even to attract on them difficulties and troubles …“.

L. Lagin “Old man Hottabych“:
“- You forgot that money gives the most right and strong power over people, about young and the incorrigible debater.
is there, in some America, but not at us.
- Now you will tell that in your country people do not want to become richer. Ha - ha - ha! - Hottabychu seemed that he introduced very caustic idea. there is no
- why, - Volka patiently answered. - The person who brings more benefit for the homeland earns at us more, than that which brings less benefit. Of course, everyone wants to earn more, but only honest work“.

Further Volka consistently rejects proposals of the genie to become the usurer or a private trader and as a result hands over gifts of Hottabycha of century. Soviet State Bank. In general during all book of Hottabych the services brings to Volka and people around more troubles, than advantage.

Lagin carries out thought that the Soviet person does not need personal riches because he can use public that noblemen in the USSR are not tsars and shahs, but people of work - whether it be traktoristka or pilots. It is amusing that Hottabych takes the Soviet sanatorium for the palace, and Volka compares the palace Hottabycha to metro station.

Horace is tired of services of the genie too. But if in Anstey Fakrash`s story just comes back to the jug, then at Lagin Volk re-educates Hottabycha in the normal Soviet citizen. On other there is a destiny at self-confident Omar Yusuf. Without having listened to scientific arguments, he gets to a trap of terrestrial gravitation and becomes the satellite of Earth.

Time passed. An era changed. Also the text of “Hottabycha“ exchanged. But about it another time.