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Золотой теленок

Книга для чтения на английском языке
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«Золотой теленок» — острая сатира на типажи и нравы России двадцатых годов прошлого века. Как и знаменитый роман «Двенадцать стульев», «Золотой теленок» продолжает завоевывать сердца все новых поколений читателей не только искрометным юмором и динамикой сюжета. Приключения «великого комбинатора» Остапа Бендера не теряют свежести и актуальности и в наши дни. Лихо закрученная интрига гениальной операции по «цивилизованному» отъему денег у подпольного миллионера Корейко, характер и мотивы главного героя, яркие, хотя и немного гротескные образы персонажей второго плана узнаваемы и понятны современному читателю, а быт и нравы Советской России столетней давности вызывают отчетливые аналогии с сегодняшним днем. Книга печатается без сокращений на английском языке. Для широкого круга читателей.
Ильф, И. А. Золотой теленок : книга для чтения на английском языке : художественная литература / И. А. Ильф, Е. Петров. - Санкт-Петербург : КАРО, 2021. - 448 с. - (Russian Modern Prose). - ISBN 978-5-9925-1503-9. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/1864336 (дата обращения: 22.05.2024). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
Фрагмент текстового слоя документа размещен для индексирующих роботов. Для полноценной работы с документом, пожалуйста, перейдите в ридер.
Ilya ILF 

Eugene PETROV

THE GOLDEN CALF

УДК 821.111
ББК 81.2 Англ 
 
И45

ISBN 978-5-9925-1503-9

Ильф, Илья, Петров, Евгений.

И45      Золотой теленок / Илья Ильф, Евгений Петров — 

Санкт-Петербург : КАРО, 2021. — 448 с. — (Russian 
Modern Prose).

ISBN 978-5-9925-1503-9.

«Золотой теленок» — острая сатира на типажи и нра
вы России двадцатых годов прошлого века. Как и знаменитый роман «Двенадцать стульев», «Золотой теленок» 
продолжает завоевывать сердца все новых поколений 
читателей не только искрометным юмором и динамикой 
сюжета. Приключения «великого комбинатора» Остапа 
Бендера не теряют свежести и актуальности и в наши дни.

Лихо закрученная интрига гениальной операции по 

«цивилизованному» отъему денег у подпольного миллионера Корейко, характер и мотивы главного героя, яркие, 
хотя и немного гротескные образы персонажей второго 
плана узнаваемы и понятны современному читателю, а быт 
и нравы Советской России столетней давности вызывают 
отчетливые аналогии с сегодняшним днем.

Книга печатается без сокращений на английском 

языке. Для широкого круга читателей.

УДК 821.111 

ББК 81.2 Англ 

© КАРО, 2021
Все права защищены

ILYA ILF 

EUGENE PETROV

THE GOLDEN CALF

“Look both ways before crossing the street.”

–Traffic regulation

PART 1

THE CREW OF THE ANTELOPE

CHAPTER 1

HOW PANIKOVSKY BROKE THE PACT

You have to be nice to pedestrians. Pedestrians comprise 

the greater part of humanity.

Moreover, its better part. Pedestrians created the world. 

They built cities, erected tall buildings, laid out sewers and 
waterlines, paved the streets and lit them with electricity. 
They spread civilization throughout the world, invented the 
printing press and gunpowder, flung bridges across rivers, 
deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs, introduced the safety razor, 
abolished the slave trade, and established that no less than 
114 tasty, nutritious dishes can be made from soybeans.

And just when everything was ready, when our native 

planet had become relatively comfortable, the motorists appeared.

It should be noted that the automobile was also invented 

by pedestrians. But, somehow, the motorists quickly forgot 
about this. They started running over the mild-mannered 
and intelligent pedestrians. The streets—laid out by pedestrians—were taken over by the motorists.

The roads became twice as wide, while the sidewalks 

shrunk to the size of a postage stamp. The frightened pedestrians were pushed up against the walls of the buildings.

In a big city, pedestrians live like martyrs. They’ve been 

forced into a kind of traffic ghetto. They are only allowed to 
cross the streets at the intersections, that is, exactly where the 

traffic is heaviest—where the thread by which a pedestrian’s 
life hangs is most easily snapped.

In our expansive country, the common automobile—in
tended by the pedestrians to peacefully transport people and 
things—has assumed the sinister role of a fratricidal weapon. 
It puts entire cohorts of union members and their loved ones 
out of commission.

And if on occasion a pedestrian manages to dart out from 

under a silver grille, he is fined by the police for violating the 
traffic laws.

In general, the pedestrians’ standing is not what it used 

to be. They, who gave the world such outstanding figures as 
Horace, Boyle, Mariotte, Lobachevsky, Gutenberg, and Anatole 
France, have been forced to jump through ridiculous hoops 
just to remind others of their existence. Lord, oh Lord (who, 
frankly, doesn’t exist), how low you (who don’t really exist) 
have let the pedestrian stoop! Here he is, walking along a Siberian road from Vladivostok to Moscow, carrying a banner that 
reads IMPROVE THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF THE TEXTILE 
WORKERS in one hand, and with an extra pair of Uncle Vanya 
sandals and a lidless tin kettle dangling from a stick that he’s 
slung over his shoulder.

This is a Soviet hiker who left Vladivostok as a young man 

and who, upon reaching the outskirts of Moscow in his old 
age, will be run over and killed by a heavy truck. And nobody 
will even manage to get the license plate number.

Here’s another one, the last of the Mohicans of European 

foot traffic. He is pushing a barrel around the world. He would 
have been more than happy to walk just like that, without 
the barrel, but then nobody would notice that he is a long
distance hiker, and the press would ignore him. And so all his 
life he is forced to push the damn thing, which, to add insult to 
injury, has a large yellow advertisement extolling the unparalleled qualities of Motorist’s Dream engine oil.

This is how far the pedestrian has fallen.
Only in small Russian towns is the pedestrian still loved 

and respected. In those towns, he still rules, wandering carelessly in the middle of the street and crossing it in the most 
intricate manner in whatever direction he chooses. 

A man wearing a white-topped captain’s cap, the kind fa
vored by administrators of summer amusement parks and MCs, 
undoubtedly belonged to this greater and better part of humanity. He traveled the streets of the town of Arbatov on foot, 
looking around with somewhat critical curiosity. He carried a 
small doctor’s bag in his hand. Apparently the town made no 
particular impression on the pedestrian in the artsy cap.

He saw a dozen or so blue, yellow, and pinkish white 

church towers and noticed the peeling gold of the domes. A 
flag crackled above a government building. Near the white 
gate tower of the provincial citadel, two severe-looking old 
ladies conversed in French, complaining about the Soviet regime and reminiscing about their beloved daughters. Cold air 
and a sour wine-like smell wafted from the church basement. 
Apparently, it was used to store potatoes.

“Church of the Savior on Spilled Potatoes,” muttered the 

pedestrian.

He walked under the plywood arch with the freshly paint
ed banner, WELCOME TO THE 5TH DISTRICT CONFERENCE 
OF WOMEN AND GIRLS, and found himself at the beginning 
of a long tree-lined alley named Boulevard of Prodigies.

“No,” he said with chagrin, “this is no Rio de Janeiro, this 

is much worse.”

Almost all the benches on the Boulevard of Prodigies were 

taken up by young women sitting alone with open books in 
their hands. Dappled shade fell across the pages of the books, 
the bare elbows, and the cute bangs. When the stranger 
stepped into the cool alley there was a noticeable stir on the 
benches. The girls hid their faces behind volumes by Gladkov, 
Eliza Orzeszkowa, and Seyfullina and eyed the visitor with temerity. He paraded past the excited book lovers and emerged 
from the alley at his destination, the city hall.

At that moment, a horse cab appeared from around the 

corner. A man in a long tunic briskly walked next to it, holding 
on to the dusty, beat-up fender and waving a bulging portfolio 
embossed with the word “Musique.” He was heatedly arguing with the passenger. The latter, a middle-aged man with a 
pendulous banana-shaped nose, held a suitcase between his 
legs and from time to time shook a finger in his interlocutor’s 
face in vehement disagreement. In the heat of the argument 
his engineer’s cap, sporting a band of plush green upholstery 
fabric, slid to one side. The adversaries uttered the word “salary” 
loudly and often.

Soon other words became audible as well.
“You will answer for this, Comrade Talmudovsky!” shout
ed the Tunic, pushing the engineer’s hand away from his face.

“And I am telling you that no decent professional would 

come to work for you on such terms,” replied Talmudovsky, 
trying to return his finger to its original position.

“Are you talking about the salary again? I’m going to have 

to launch a complaint about your excessive greed.” 

“I don’t give a damn about the salary! I’d work for free!” 

yelled the engineer, angrily tracing all kinds of curves in the 
air with his finger. “I can even retire if I want to. Don’t treat 
people like serfs! You see ‘Liberty, equality, brotherhood’ everywhere now, and yet I am expected to work in this rat hole.”

At this point, Talmudovsky quickly opened his hand and 

started counting on his fingers:

“The apartment is a pigsty, there’s no theater, the salary... 

Driver! To the train station!”

“Whoa!” shrieked the Tunic, rushing ahead and grabbing 

the horse by the bridle. “As the secretary of the Engineers and 
Technicians local, I must... Kondrat Ivanovich, the plant will be 
left without engineers... Be reasonable... We won’t let you get 
away with this, Engineer Talmudovsky... I have the minutes 
here with me...”

And then the secretary of the local planted his feet firmly 

on the ground and started undoing the straps of his “Musique.”

This lapse decided the argument. Seeing that the path 

was clear, Talmudovsky rose to his feet and yelled at the top 
of his lungs:

“To the station!”
“Wait, wait...” meekly protested the secretary, rushing 

after the carriage. “You are a deserter from the labor front!”

Sheets of thin paper marked “discussed-resolved” flew 

out of the portfolio.

The stranger, who had been closely watching the incident, 

lingered for a moment on the empty square, and then said 
with conviction:

“No, this is definitely not Rio de Janeiro.”
A minute later he was knocking on the door of the city 

council chairman.

“Who do you want to see?” asked the receptionist who 

was sitting at the desk by the door. “What do you need to see 
the chairman for? What’s your business?”

Apparently the visitor was intimately familiar with the 

principles of handling receptionists at various governmental, 
non-governmental, and municipal organizations. He didn’t 
bother to claim that he had urgent official business.

“Private matters,” he said dryly and, without looking 

back at the receptionist, stuck his head in the door. “May 
I come in?”

Without waiting for an answer, he approached the chair
man’s desk.

“Good morning, do you recognize me?”
The chairman, a dark-eyed man with a large head, wear
ing a navy blue jacket and matching pants that were tucked 
into tall boots with high angled heels, glanced at the visitor 
rather distractedly and said he did not recognize him.

“You don’t? For your information, many people think I 

look remarkably like my father.”

“I look like my father, too,” said the chairman impatiently. 

“What do you want, Comrade?”

“What matters is who the father was,” said the visitor 

sadly. “I am the son of Lieutenant Schmidt.”

The chairman felt foolish and started rising from his seat. 

He instantly recalled the famous image of the pale faced revolutionary lieutenant in his black cape with bronze clasps in 
the shape of lion’s heads. While he was pulling his thoughts 
together to ask the son of the Black Sea hero an appropriate 
question, the visitor examined the office furnishings with the 
eye of a discriminating buyer.

Back in tsarist times, all government offices were fur
nished in a particular style. A special breed of office furniture was developed: flat storage cabinets rising to the ceiling, 
wooden benches with polished seats three inches thick, desks 
on monumental legs, and oak barriers separating the office 
from the turmoil of the world outside. During the revolution, 
this type of furniture almost disappeared, and the secret of 
making it was lost. People forgot how to furnish government 
offices properly, and official spaces started filling up with 
objects that until then were thought to belong exclusively in 
private apartments. Among these were soft lawyer’s couches 
with springs and tiny glass shelves for the seven porcelain 
elephants that supposedly bring luck, as well as china cabinets, 
flimsy display shelves, folding leather chairs for invalids, and 
blue Japanese vases. In addition to a regular desk, the office 
of the chairman of the Arbatov city council also gave refuge to 
two small ottomans, which were upholstered with torn pink 
silk, a striped love seat, a satin screen depicting Mount Fuji 
with a flowering cherry tree, and a heavy mirrored wardrobe 
that was slapped together at the local open-air market.

“The wardrobe, I’m afraid, is of the Hey Slavs type,” 

thought the visitor. “The pickings here are slim. Nope, this is 
no Rio de Janeiro.”

“It’s very good of you to stop by,” said the chairman finally. 

“You must be from Moscow?”

“Yes, just passing through,” replied the visitor, examin
ing the love seat and becoming even more convinced that the 
city’s finances were not in good shape. He much preferred city 
halls with new, Swedish-style furniture from the Leningrad 
Woodworks Enterprise.

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