Ilya Ilf

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ilya Ilf

Ilya Ilf, pseudonym of Iehiel-Leyb (Ilya) Arnoldovich Faynzilberg (Russian: Илья Арнольдович Файнзильберг[1]), (October 15 [O.S. October 3] 1897 in Odessa – April 13, 1937, Moscow), was a popular Soviet journalist and writer of Jewish origin who usually worked in collaboration with Yevgeni Petrov during the 1920s and 1930s. Their duo was known simply as Ilf and Petrov. Together they published two popular comedy novels The Twelve Chairs (1928) and The Little Golden Calf (1931), as well as a satirical book One-storied America (often translated as Little Golden America) that documented their journey through the United States between 1935 and 1936.

Sickness and death[edit]

Ilf suffered from tuberculosis back in the 1920s. He was diagnosed with it again during his trip to America, which led to his death on April 13, 1937. In several days a Nazi propaganda newspaper Der Angriff published an article claiming that Ilf committed suicide following the critique from the Soviet government during the Moscow writer's convention. Yevgeni Petrov immediately published a denial in Pravda named An Answer to Fascist Slanderers, pointing out that death was caused by illness and that nothing extraordinary happened during the convention, linking to a full transcript published in press.[2] However, the suicide version is still used by some Western biographers.[3]


  2. ^ Yakov Lurie. In the Land of Unfrightened Idiots. A Book About Ilf and Petrov. Paris: La Presse libre, 1983; Saint Petersburg: European University at Saint Petersburg, 2005. ISBN 5-94380-044-1
  3. ^ Ilf et Petrov. Lettres d'Amérique (Parangon, Paris, 2004 ed.). Avant-propos de J-J. Marie. 

External links[edit]