Quotes from The Twelve Chairs

Ilya Ilf ·  395 pages

Rating: (16.5K votes)

“Он любил и страдал. Он любил деньги и страдал от их недостатка.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Время, которое мы имеем, - это деньги, которых мы не имеем.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“- Кто, по-вашему, этот мощный старик? Это - гигант мысли, отец русской демократии и особа, приближенная к императору.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Здесь Паша Эмильевич, обладавший сверхъестественным чутьем, понял, что сейчас его будут бить, может быть, даже ногами.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Вы ни пьете, ни курите, девушками не увлекаетесь... Зачем Вам деньги? Вы же не умеете их тратить.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“А может тебе ещё дать ключ от квартиры, где деньги лежат?”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“- А теперь действовать, действовать и действовать! - сказал Остап, понизив голос до степени полной нелегальности.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Остап со вчерашнего дня еще ничего не ел. Поэтому красноречие его было необыкновенно.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“The way people used to kiss before the age of historical materialism.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Everyone drank to popular education and to the irrigation of Uzbekistan.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Кто скажет, что это девочка, пусть первый бросит в меня камень!”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Let's put it to a vote. Shall the ballots be open or secret?"

"We don't need Soviet-style voting," Charushnikov said, offended. "Let's vote the honest way, the European way: secret ballots.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“He was only thirty-eight. His body was clean, well-fed, and benign. He had all his teeth. A fresh Armenian joke stirred in his head like a child in its mother's womb. He thought life was wonderful.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Clotilde stammered. "Why didn't you hang yourself? You were just saying that art is eternal. I destroyed your eternal art. Why are you still alive, man?"

"What's eternal is eternal, but I still have to get my commissions done on time," said Vasya. "What did you think?"

Vasya was just an everyday hack sculptor of average talent. And Clothilde was reading too much Schiller.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“So what was in this building before historical materialism?'

'Before what?'

'You know, back then, under the old regime?'

'Oh. Under the old regime my master lived here.'

'A bourgeois?'

'You're a bourgeois yourself! He wasn't a bourgeois. He was a marshal of the nobility.'

'So he was a proletarian, then?'

'You're a proletarian yourself! I told you loud and clear, a marshal.'

The conversation with the clever dvornik with a vague understanding of the class structure of society would have lasted god knows how long if the young man hadn't made a decisive move.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Ostap Bender lay in the dvornik's room, which was warm to the point of reeking, and mentally put the finishing touches on two possible career plans.

He could become a polygamist and move peacefully from town to town, dragging behind him a new suitcase full of valuable items he'd picked up from the latest wife. Or he could go the very next day to the Stargorod Children's Commission and offer them the chance to distribute the as-yet unpainted but brilliantly conceived canvas The Bolsheviks Writing a Letter to Chamberlain, based on the artist Repin's popular painting The Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan. If it worked out, this option could bring in something along the line of four hundred rubles.

Ostap had thought up both options during his last stay in Moscow. The polygamy option had been born under the influence of the court report from the evening papers, where it was clearly indicated that some polygamist had only gotten two years without strict isolation. Option number two had taken shape in Bender's mind when he was going through the AARR exhibit on a free ticket.

However, both options had their downsides. It was impossible to begin a career as a polygamist without a wondrous, dapple-gray suit. In addition, he needed at least ten rubles for hospitality expenses and seduction. Of course, he could get married in his green campaign uniform as well, because Bender's masculine power and attraction were absolutely irresistible to provincial, marriage-ready Margaritas; but that would be, as Bender liked to say, "Poor-quality goods. Not clean work." It wasn't all smooth sailing for the painting, either. Purely technical difficulties could arise. Would it be proper to paint Comrade Kalinin in a papakha and a white burka, or Comrade Chicherin naked to the waist?”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Now tell me the truth, Lapsus, why do you write about things you've never seen before in your life? Things you don't have the slightest idea about? Why is 'peignoir' a ball gown in your poem 'Canton'? Why?”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Pushkin wrote Turkish poems and he was never in Turkey.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“No one likes us, unless you count Criminal Investigations, which also doesn't like us.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Podkolyosin asked tragically, "Why are you keeping quiet, like the League of Nations?”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“She was, after all, a mattress owner and understood the subtleties of life.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Ippolit Matveevich turned even redder, pulled out a tiny notebook, and wrote in a calligraphic hand:

25/4/1927 — rubles issued to Comrade Bender — 8.

Ostap took a look inside the little book.

'Oh-ho! If you've gone ahead and opened a personal account for me, then the least you could do is tally it right. Start up a debit column, start up a credit column. Don't forget to enter the sixty thousand rubles you owe me in the debits, and the vest can go in the credits. The balance is in my favor: 59,992 rubles.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Какие деньги? Вы, кажется, спросили про какие-то деньги?”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Ледът се пука! Ледът се пука, господа съдебни заседатели!”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“The gold-seekers began to work out what the main characters were like. They sketched out dramatis personae such as:

UGOLIN: A grand master of the Fascist Order (bass)
ALFONSINA: His daughter (coloratura soprano)
COMRADE MITIN: A Soviet inventor (baritone)
SFORZA: A fascist prince (tenor)
GAVRILA: A Soviet Young Communist (mezzo-soprano dressed as a man)
NINA: A Young Communist and daughter of a priest (lyric soprano)”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Can you say the following phrase in French: "Gentlemen, I haven't eaten in six days"?'

Ippolit Matveevich began haltingly, 'Messieurs... messieurs, je ne, I think, je ne mange pas... six, what is that again... un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six... six... jour. Right: je ne mange pas six jours!'

'That's quite a pronunciation you've got there, Kisa! Still, what do you expect from a beggar. Of course a beggar in European Russia speaks French worse than Millerand.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“A week ago, the Water Rescue Society had held an evening there, as evidenced by the slogan hanging on the wall: THE CAUSE OF HELPING THE DROWNING IS IN THE HANDS OF THE DROWNING THEMSELVES.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Prusis told me that the fluke's raging in Moscow, and there's nothing to bury people in. All the material's been used up. So I decided to come out and set things straight.'

Ostap, who had been listening curiously to the entire conversation, stepped in. 'Listen, pops. It's Paris where the flu is raging.'

'In Paris?'

'Well, yes. So go to Paris. You'll rake it in there! It's true that you'll have a few difficulties with the visa, but don't get down about it, pops. If Briand takes a shine to you, your life won't be half-bad: you'll be set up as personal coffin-maker to the municipality of Paris.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“Maybe we could make it to Stalingrad on twenty rubles. But how would we eat? Vitamins, my dear comrade marshal, don't get handed out for free.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

“существует много старых испытанных приемов: 1) простое знакомство, 2) любовная интрига, 3) знакомство со взломом, 4) обмен, 5) деньги и 6) деньги.293 Последнее – самое верное.”
― Ilya Ilf, quote from The Twelve Chairs

About the author

Ilya Ilf
Born place: in Odessa, Ukraine
Born date October 15, 1897
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