In Belarus often compare Andrey Mryya’s novel «Note of Samson of Samosuya» to «Twelve chairs» Ilf and Petrov. Really, in both works there is a lot of a similar. And the first that unites both works is time. How called the Belarusian Ilf and Petrov? Andrey Mry
Andrey Mry

If «Twelve chairs» were written in 1928, "Notes" are published for a year later, in the 1929th. However, this publication passed with big reductions and in an unabridged edition the novel could reach the reader only in 1988 when it was printed in the first issue of the magazine of "Polymya". Otherwise, generally, also could not be.

After all the protagonist the novel of Mryya – Simeon Samosuy on behalf of whom "Notes" are written, – the head of department of culture of district executive committee of the small town Shepelevka. Having got on this post in many respects thanks to the class origin («from peasants»), it does not possess even the minimum competence of the sphere headed by it. But here energy and activity at it … Would suffice on all district executive committee! However, the practical advantage of this activity is equal to zero or even goes to a minus. Absurd «cultural actions» which one behind another will tirelessly organize Samosuy in order that «in the shortest terms to lift level of shepelevsky culture», with a crash fail. To change by it come new, let and not less absurd, but having in the basis the good purpose which, the most important, completely corresponds to "the general line of party».

Most likely, for this reason in the novel ending after around Shepelevka the settlement of "cave men" is found, and play statement «The morals of comrade Zakandyrin» in which our hero not only represents itself as the director, but also play a leading role, with a crash fail, Simeon right there, with increase in a position, translate to direct already district department of culture. And anything in it strange. After all Samosuy – the person of a new formation. Or, as he it is proud considers: «I am a modern person». The person corresponding to any requirements which only can be shown to it. Both in the present, and in the future.

Therefore there is nothing surprising, as that Samosuy is organically entered in new, unknown on scope of plans and plans, an era, and that the novel at once after its publication (and publications in fair reduction and with big notes!) there was заклеймен as «a spiteful lampoon on the Soviet reality». And, respectively, the edition «Simeon Samosuya’s Notes» could not remain without consequences for their author.

On February 21, 1934 Andrey Antonovich Shashalevich (Andrey Mryya’s real name) to whom 40 years were at that time executed, was arrested and in a month – on March 26 as «the member of the anti-Soviet counterrevolutionary organization and the suspect of espionage», is condemned for 5 years of imprisonment and transported under guard in the Karaganda labor camp.

However, on November 21, after consideration of the appeal submitted on a sentence by the Public prosecutor of the USSR, 5 years of camps replaced with three years of the reference in the Vologda area. Probably, the fighting past of the writer to some extent affected. In 1918-21 he ordered the 345th company of the 14th regiment of Red Army. And before, in 1916, mobilized from a third year of the Kiev spiritual academy, according to the accelerated, 4-month’s program, left school ensigns and it was sent to the 94th Yenisei regiment of Field army.

But, I think, for Andrey Mryya who so for the rest of the natural and could not return to native Belarus for it, it was cold comfort. After the reference, which it left for Velsk (nowadays the Arkhangelsk region), working there the accountant in logging enterprise, it directed on the settlement to Murmansk where it arrived at the beginning of 1938. Two and a half years of work as the teacher of literature at high school, and on June 2, 1940 – new arrest during which all were withdrawn written to them in the work reference: the novel «Live house», stories and short stories, and got lost somewhere in People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs archives.

On August 13, 1940 Andrey Mry was condemned for 5 years of imprisonment and transported under guard in the ASSR Komi People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs Ust-Vymsky camp. But in two and a half years – on March 1 the 1943rd, the survey which has been carried out by medical commission, he is recognized as the disabled person owing to what on September 23, 1943 is released and sent to die in a residence. To Murmansk Andrey Mry did not reach. He died on October 8, 1943 somewhere in Murmansk region. According to other version – it is killed in a train by recidivists.

But it everything about the writer. And it would be desirable, though it is a little, about its novel. And about why it compare to «Twelve chairs» Ilf and Petrov.

As I already said, the first that unites these works – time. As time of their writing, the end of the 20th years of the last century, and time in which actions of novels are developed. Respectively, already it generates similarity of circumstances, motivations, language and, finally, heroes.

Perhaps, therefore Samson in something reminds blue pilferer Alkhen from «Twelve chairs». Yes, it is quite possible that Shepelevka rather far from Stargorod, but the first as well as the second, reddens and is ashamed of the, often not so country, rustic desires. That, however, does not prevent both of them to move ahead persistently on that way, which, as they consider (and it is not unreasonable!), will approach them to realization of these desires.

But Alkhen is still half-affairs. Complete business (or, more correctly, coincidence on many parameters) at Samson with the protagonist of «Twelve chairs» – the son of the Turkish and citizen and great schemer Ostap Benderom. Both of them are active, enterprising and inexhaustible on inventions or great combinations (as the second), or actions in culture increase (as the first). Though, of course, is between them and distinctions.

If Ostap loved money, concerning similar passion of Samson – a big question. It seems that with considerably big piety he treats that status which allocates it as «the modern person» with the right to change everything and everybody around. And with the status always and everywhere to leave much more difficultly, than the same «the Brazilian dreams».

Therefore Ostap absolutely quietly enters in coming conquest of the city by it in штиблетах barefoot, and here Samson, leaving a native home in Shepelevka, loads the whole cart «причиндалья»: «Two fur coats, … шинелька very much even proletarian breed, it is raked in several places; I well knew an origin of these holes and to all said that bullets of the White Guard swine raked it on the denikinsky front. … coat of a preimperialist era… it is a lot of trousers: riding breeches of various flowers and styles, breeches, flares, wide trousers and even Belarusian drawers…».

And it is not simple «причиндалье». It is a certain symbol of respectability of «the modern person» who, on a trope of known modern Belarusian journalist Olgerd Bakharevich, «within decades was slowly transformed to an ondatrovy cap, black "Volga" and the gray three». In other words, Samson – the representative new, undertaken of anywhere elite, and the same Ostap – «was never noticed in communications discrediting it».

Well, and one more element uniting both "Notes", and "Chairs" are … Language! Kantselyarizma, stamps, Soviet Newspeak: all this in both works – more than. And characters and Mryya, and Ilf and Petrov so organically and easy on it is mute say that there is an impression as if what other language which we got used to call great and mighty, they simply do not know. Really, they could not forget it for those ten years what separate them from empire crash? But … That is, that is.

However, that of it to be convinced, it is necessary to open a small volume of "Notes" and to read them. To make it it is simple. Roman Mryya – not so big and not so thick. A problem – in other. Mry – the classic of the Belarusian literature. Itself(himself), he wrote in native language for it. And the translation of the novel on Russian – while is not present.

But I translated something. It is a little absolutely. But, I hope, and that is (see below, in comments), will be enough to create any idea of work language, character of his protagonist and those absurd actions which it diligently put into practice …