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The fatal love of the author of the fairy tale “Fat Three” left him for a lame demon

Date: April 12, 2024 Time: 16:24:07

April 17, 1930 – creative intellectuals at Mayakovsky’s funeral. (From left to right) Ilya Ilf’s brother, Mikhail Fainzilberg (graphic artist and photographer). Evgeny Petrov. Valentin Kataev. Seraph Suok-Narbut. Yuri Olesha. Poet Joseph Utkin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On May 10, 1960, Yuri Olesha died. The writer was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery near the gates of the monastery.

Genie changed by products

This drama began 105 years ago in Odessa. Three future classics of Soviet literature – Valentin Kataev, Yuri Olesha, Eduard Bagritsky created the group “Collective of Poets”. Yuri immediately had a devilish success with female students and schoolgirls who came to his creative evenings. He struck up fleeting romances until he met Sima, the youngest daughter of a music teacher, the Austrian emigrant Gustav Suok. She is 16 years old, the poet 19 (born March 3, 1899).

“Oh, how they loved each other! – recalled Valentin Kataev. – Their love, not hidden by any convention, was visible to all, and we watched this couple, not without envy, surrounded by a cloud of happiness. Beggars, young, often hungry, cheerful, tender, could suddenly kiss in broad daylight on the street, among revolutionary posters and lists of executed … And the fact that “she is cunning” turned out later and inflicted an unhealed wound in Olesha, which left an indelible mark on all his work, turned him into a genius and eventually led to slow self-destruction.

Seraphim’s sister Olga Suok became Olesha’s wife.


Yuri completely lost her mind. And when his parents decided to emigrate to Poland, he flatly refused to go with them. Her mother understood: the reason is in Sima, but her son was not married to her and registered. She hated her and demanded that Yuri break up with Suok. He didn’t listen. Leaving Odessa forever, the imperious Catholic cursed her son.

Soon the curse seemed to take effect. A 40-year-old official from the provincial food committee made his way through the company of young poets, who wrote poems under the pseudonym Mak. One day, Suok laughingly announced to Olesha that she had married Mak and moved in with him. Like, tired of dragging out a half-starved existence, love alone is not enough for complete happiness. And Mac buys groceries. But Yura will always remain for her the brightest memory of her, her dearest friend, the elephant, the genius.

Olesha drank sorrowfully. Kataev decided to help his friend and went after the fugitive.

“He had a terrifying appearance: an officer’s jacket from Kerensky’s time, canvas trousers, wooden sandals on bare feet, a pipe in his teeth, and a red Turkish fez with a black brush on his shaved head,” tells us. find in his memories.

The frightened officer released Sima. The enterprising Suok, who fled to Mack with only one dress, returned to Olesha with two trunks: in one – clothes, in the other – scarce goods.

gone with the lame fiend

Less than a year later, Sima Suok left Olesha again. He went to Moscow with the poet Vladimir Narbut, a friend of Gumilyov, Akhmatova, Mandelstam. Contemporaries noted his demonic appearance. Literary critics called Woland the main prototype of the novel The Master and Margarita. Bulgakov was familiar with Narbut. Due to the crippled leg, the poet did not part with the staff. Voland also limped and had a cane.

Serafima left Olesha for the poet Vladimir Narbut. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The entire circulation of the first collection of Narbut’s “Hallelujah” was burned by order of the Holy Synod for blasphemy. After the revolution, the poet became a prominent Bolshevik, engaged in propaganda. His public appearances were reminiscent of black magic sessions.

Kataev had already settled in Moscow, worked as a feuilletonist in the Gudok newspaper. A frustrated friend came to him from Odessa: “We must steal the Suok!”

Kataev refused. Narbut is not a cowardly official of the regional food committee. The new husband Suok worked in the Lunacharsky People’s Commissariat of Education, a big shot. He Soon became deputy head of the Press Department of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks! Compared to him, they are pygmies…

Olesha entered the fight alone. Having learned the address of Narbut, she was on duty under the windows for hours. And the windy Sim trembled, came back…

Olesha and her lover began to live with Kataev. But one day they knocked on the window. Narbut appeared behind the glass. Kataev went out into the courtyard to negotiate. The unexpected guest held a commissioner’s revolver in his hand. “Valentin Petrovich, tell Serafima Gustavovna: if she does not immediately leave Yuri Karlovich, I will put a bullet in my temple right here.” Kataev returned to the lovers, conveyed Narbut’s ultimatum. “He will,” Suok blanched. I know him too well. Olesha darkened. “A responsible worker is shooting himself almost in front of our eyes! Consequence. interrogations. The prosecutor’s office. At best, the public will stigmatize us, and at worst… it’s even scary to think about!

And Suok left with the lame demon. Forever.

The girl matured and married another.

Olesha apparently easily endured the final break with Sima, Kataev wrote. She even seemed to rejuvenate, as if she had begun a second youth for him. She stayed in Moscow, lived with a friend. He composed biting feuilletons for “Beep” under the pseudonym Chisel. And he was looking for a replacement for the windy Suok.

The case helped. A familiar artist left a large doll in a pink dress with Kataev. Two steps away, he couldn’t be distinguished from a living child. Two lonely Odessans liked to scare passersby by pretending a girl was falling out of a window. The fame of the wonderful toy spread for Chistye Prudy. Once a girl Valya Grunzaid from a neighboring house came to Olesha and asked to see the doll.

Yuri realized that she had found her ideal. Valya was an improved version of Suok: younger, fresher, prettier. And most importantly, the breezy smile of a traitor didn’t slide across her face. The feuilletonist immediately swore to him that he would write a brilliant, beautiful, luxuriously published book of fairy tales, and on the cover there would be a dedication to Valya.

Olesha understood that the novel would not work immediately. He is 24 years old, she is only 13. But until he writes a book, until it is published… At that time, the girl will mature, realize that he is a genius, and replace him with the insidious Suok.

Olesha wrote the revolutionary fairy tale “Three Fat Men” in 9 months. The main character is a kind circus girl named Suok. The soulless doll also appears in the fairy tale – an exact copy of the circus performer. So the writer portrayed the duplicity of her first love – Seraphim.

The book was published four years later, in 1928. With beautiful illustrations by the famous artist Dobuzhinsky. And a dedication to Valentina Grunzaid.

At that time, the girl had really matured. And she married … Kataev’s younger brother, Yevgeny Petrov, who in the same year published the novel “The Twelve Chairs”, written with Ilya Ilf, and became famous. Olesha was at her wedding.

Marriage with middle sister

The fairy tale novel “Three Fat Men” brought Olesha national fame. As well as the novel Envy written below, which is considered one of the pinnacles of Russian literature of the 20th century. Maxim Gorky himself appreciated the young writer, including him among the authors whose works he reads “willingly, even greedily.” By the way, the character of “Envy” Babichev, who sings in the morning in the closet, Olesha gave the features of Narbut, to whom the Sima from her was addressed.

But the writer who became famous did not have happiness in his personal life.

He went to Odessa. He met with the middle sister Suok Olga. She complained about the insidious Sim. “Could you treat me like this?!” – “No, maybe…” – “Then marry me!”

A few months later, Olga divorced her husband, came with her son to Moscow and married Olesha. Suok’s older sister Lydia has long been married to Eduard Bagritsky. They also moved to Moscow at Kataev’s insistence.

In 1936, Narbut was arrested as an enemy of the people. Sima sent her older sister, who was now a widow, to intercede for her husband in the Lubyanka. Lydia left and returned… 19 years later, having passed through the fields, exile. In Karaganda, in the settlement, every week the NKVD was held on the street named after her husband, Eduard Bagritsky …

Narbut was shot in 1938, on his fiftieth birthday. In the fall of 1941, the widow Serafima married the writer and art critic Nikolai Gardzhiev, a friend of Malevich, in order to be evacuated to Alma-Ata as her wife. After the war, she married a living classic of Soviet literature, Viktor Shklovsky, for whom she worked as a stenographer. She got her ex-wife’s teacher back.

Seraphim’s last husband is the writer Viktor Shklovsky. It was he who united Olesha’s scattered notes in the book “Not a day without a line.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“Olga is kind, Sima is bad”

Yuri Olesha fell out of favor in 1936. The repressions did not touch him, but for 20 years his main works were not reprinted. However, after “Envy” and “Three Fat Men” he didn’t write anything great. “I cannot pretend, create according to the laws of socialist realism,” Yuri Karlovich admitted. The fact that his talent was not exhausted is evidenced by the diary entries published later under the heading “Not a day without a line.” Olga Suok loved her husband, she stoically endured poverty, his sadness and her regular revelry.

From time to time he visited the Shklovskys. Serafín gave him money. Viktor Shklovsky assured: “Olesha loved Sima. Married Olga. She said that they are very similar to each other, but Olga is kind, and Sima is evil. The writer himself asked his wife: “Do not offend Sima. You are the two halves of my soul.”

Before dying, she writes in her diary: “And from sister to sister, life closed in a magic circle.”

Alcohol undermined the health of the writer. Yuri Karlovich died on May 10, 1960. His heart could not take it.

All three Suok sisters survived their classical husbands. They are buried next to Olesha in Novodevichy.

Suok in the movie Three Fat Men. The doll got its name in honor of the name of the beloved writer. Photo: Still from the film.


“Enemies are not always windmills”

Some quotes from the author’s books.

Do you think the drum is doing its part? No, he’s the god of music punching you with his fist.

In our country, the paths to glory are blocked by barriers … A gifted person either has to fade away, or decides to raise the barrier with a big scandal.

You passed by me like a branch full of flowers and leaves.

Enemies are not always windmills.

In the end, no matter what I have achieved in life, the important thing is that I lived every minute.

One of them had a dark bruise under his eye in the form of an ugly rose or a beautiful frog.

In Central Asia, I was especially appreciated by the line that the girl was at a minimum distance from the young man. Not bad, just a whisper away!

Everything looks like everything.

Coming home, I randomly read one of my brochures: after Bunin’s, I had the impression that for some time I was just looking at a rag.

Once I offered Mayakovsky to buy me a rhyme. “Please,” he said with serious efficiency. – That? – Medicine and coppers. – Ruble. – Why are they so few? -She surprised me. – Because it says “drug”, with the accent on the last syllable. “Then why are you shopping?” – Just in case.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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