Ilf, Ilya Arnoldovich

views updated

Ilya Arnoldovich Ilf (ēlyä´ ərnôl´dəvĬch ēlf), 1897–1937, Russian humorist whose original name was Ilya Arnoldovich Fainzilberg. In all his writing he collaborated with Yevgeny Petrovich Katayev (1903–42), who used the pseudonym Yevgeny Petrov and was a younger brother of the writer Valentin Katayev. The two wrote satiric stories and novels, including Twelve Chairs (1928, tr. Diamonds to Sit On, 1930), a chronicle of a rogue's search for hidden treasure. The rogue, Ostap Bender, is also the hero of their second novel, The Little Golden Calf (1931, tr. 1932). After a tour of the United States they wrote the witty and mildly critical One-Storied America (1936, tr. Little Golden America, 1937). Ilf died the next year of tuberculosis.