History Main / TheTwelveChairs

31st Mar '13 12:33:20 AM Xtifr
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The first part of a satirical duology by Ilia Ilf and Eugeny Petrov.

In post-civil war Soviet Russia, [[ImpoverishedPatrician a former member of nobility]], Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov, works as a desk clerk, until his mother-in-law reveals on her deathbed that her family jewelry had been hidden from the Bolsheviks in one of the twelve chairs from the family's dining room set. [[MacGuffin Those chairs]], along with all other personal property, had been expropriated by the government after [[RedOctober the Russian Revolution]]. He becomes a treasure hunter, and after the [[ManipulativeBastard smooth operator]] and ConMan [[MagnificentBastard Ostap Bender]] forces Kisa ("Kitty", Vorobyaninov's [[EmbarrassingNickname funny childhood nickname]], which Bender prefers) to partner with him, they set off to track down the chairs. This ultimately helps Kisa, who doesn't possess [[LoveableRogue Bender's charm]] and is not as street-smart.

The two "comrades" ''nearly'' get the prize at the auction, but because Kisa screwed up and squandered all their cash, the chairs are [[GottaCatchThemAll split up and sold individually]]. They are not alone in this quest, either: [[CorruptChurch Father Fyodor]] took advantage of the deathbed confession, and has also set off to recover the fortune. In this search for Mme Petukhova's treasure, he becomes Vorobyaninov's main rival. While in this enterprise Ostap is in his element, Vorobyaninov is not so happy. [[FaceHeelTurn He's steadily abandoning his principles and losing self-esteem]].

The OddCouple [[WalkingTheEarth travels across the USSR]] in search of the MacGuffin, going through a number of AdventureTowns, giving the author a chance to satirize a wide section of the USSR populace.

One of the best and most enduring Russian literature works from the Soviet era, and an inexhaustible source of great quotes along with its sequel, ''TheLittleGoldenCalf''.

Creator/MelBrooks directed an adaptation in 1970. Two different Russian adaptations have created a bit of a BrokenBase amongst the Russian viewers. The main point of contention is whether [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Mironov Andrei Mironov's]] interpretation of Bender as less of a LovableRogue and more of a VillainProtagonist works.
----
!!This book features examples of:
* AmbiguouslyJewish: There are some reasons to believe Bender is of Jewish descent.
** UnfortunateImplications regarding his con-man tendencies if that is the case.
** Also, his Odessa roots (a very Jewish city) and his claim of being the son of one Turkish subject (Jews often used foreign passports, especially readily available Turkish papers, as foreign nationality would change their ethnicity to Turk in legal documents).
* AscendedExtra: Bender himself was intended as a one-scene character, but became a OneSceneWonder for the authors and had immediately [[SpotlightStealingSquad stolen the spotlight]].
* BrainlessBeauty: Ellochka. Her vocabulary is ''thirty'' words large.
* ButtMonkey: Kisa Vorobyaninov goes from one humiliation to another. Also Father Fyodor to some extent.
* CatchPhrase: Bender's ''[[MemeticMutation The hearing is continued!]]'' ("Заседание продолжается!")
** Also, ''The ice has broken!'' ("Лед тронулся!")
** And several mentions about obtaining "the key to the apartment where the money is" ("ключ от квартиры, где деньги лежат") Ostap has several "Benderisms" which have since entered the Russian colloquial lexicon.
* TheCharmer: Bender again.
* TheChessmaster: Bender refers to himself as "The Great Combinator". The narration agrees.
** Not literally, though. His skill at chess is miserable, that's why his [[TheCon "World Chess Tournament" con]] quickly went sour.
* ConMan: Bender.
* ConvulsiveSeizures
* CorruptChurch: Father Fyodor. The catholic monks in the sequel also qualify, according to Bender.
* CriticalResearchFailure: Poet Lapis-Trubetskoy is notorious for that in-universe. No, Lapis, jackals are not "snake-shaped"! And peignoir is not a ball gown!
* DeadpanSnarker: Bender.
* DrivenToMadness: Father Fyodor.
* DownerEnding: [[ShootTheShaggyDog And how.]]
* GiftedlyBad: Lapis-Trubetskoy, whose poems are filled with inane tautologies. Bender calls him [[FreudianSlip Lapsus]]-Trubetskoy. Later he is seen trying to sell poetry to several different magazine editors, changing the subject matter every time—for example, he calls his submission to a medical journal "The Ballad of Gangrene."
* IconicOutfit: Bender's white scarf, sea captain's cap and checkerboard vest.
* IndyPloy: Another side of Ostap Bender's "The Great Combinator" persona. He is incredibly adept at inventing new scams on the fly and getting out of trouble with quick thinking.
* JerkAss: Bender, when he feels no need to be TheCharmer. Film versions tends to downgrade his jerkassery a bit.
* KarmaHoudini: Alchen, the most despicable character in the book.
* LovableRogue: Bender.
* MacGuffin: The chair set.
* AMacGuffinFullOfMoney: of very expensive jewelry, to be precise.
* MeaningfulName: Town named Stargorod (literally "Oldtown").
** Bender tries to play this on real life Proval resort ("The Fall", may be freely translated as "The Pit", [[spoiler:[[IncrediblyLamePun not to be mistranslated as "The FAIL", please]]]]) by shaking tips out from random bypassers:
--->'''Bender:''' That's for the reconstruction of Proval, [[StealthPun so it wouldn't fall down.]]
* MyHairCameOutGreen: One of the protagonists tries to dye his hair and eyebrows and mustache a darker colour, but the dye is counterfeit and ends up turning him a rabid green colour. The poor sod ends up having to shave his head completely devoid of hair.
* NakedPeopleTrappedOutside: happened to engineer Shukin.
* NoblewomansLaugh: Ellochka, in a slightly milder variant. ''Ho-ho.''
* SinisterMinister: Father Fyodor. He finds out about Vorobyaninov's talk with his dying mother-in-law (and therefore the chairs) by staying behind and [[ExactEavesDropping listening at the keyhole]] after he gave her her final rites, and later, he persuades his long-suffering wife to sell practically all their possessions to finance his travels all around the Soviet Union in search of the chairs.
* SceneryPorn: When characters travels down the Volga river.
* ThoseTwoActors: Mironov and Papanov duo in one of the adaptations
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Kisa Vorobyaninov
* UnknownRival: Turned UpToEleven with Ellochka Schukina and her ridiculous "rivalry" with Consuelo Vanderbilt.
----

to:

The first part of a satirical duology by Ilia Ilf and Eugeny Petrov.

In post-civil war Soviet Russia, [[ImpoverishedPatrician a former member of nobility]], Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov, works as a desk clerk, until his mother-in-law reveals on her deathbed that her family jewelry had been hidden from the Bolsheviks in one of the twelve chairs from the family's dining room set. [[MacGuffin Those chairs]], along with all other personal property, had been expropriated by the government after [[RedOctober the Russian Revolution]]. He becomes a treasure hunter, and after the [[ManipulativeBastard smooth operator]] and ConMan [[MagnificentBastard Ostap Bender]] forces Kisa ("Kitty", Vorobyaninov's [[EmbarrassingNickname funny childhood nickname]], which Bender prefers) to partner with him, they set off to track down the chairs. This ultimately helps Kisa, who doesn't possess [[LoveableRogue Bender's charm]] and is not as street-smart.

The two "comrades" ''nearly'' get the prize at the auction, but because Kisa screwed up and squandered all their cash, the chairs are [[GottaCatchThemAll split up and sold individually]]. They are not alone in this quest, either: [[CorruptChurch Father Fyodor]] took advantage of the deathbed confession, and has also set off to recover the fortune. In this search for Mme Petukhova's treasure, he becomes Vorobyaninov's main rival. While in this enterprise Ostap is in his element, Vorobyaninov is not so happy. [[FaceHeelTurn He's steadily abandoning his principles and losing self-esteem]].

The OddCouple [[WalkingTheEarth travels across the USSR]] in search of the MacGuffin, going through a number of AdventureTowns, giving the author a chance to satirize a wide section of the USSR populace.

One of the best and most enduring Russian literature works from the Soviet era, and an inexhaustible source of great quotes along with its sequel, ''TheLittleGoldenCalf''.

Creator/MelBrooks directed an adaptation in 1970. Two different Russian adaptations have created a bit of a BrokenBase amongst the Russian viewers. The main point of contention is whether [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Mironov Andrei Mironov's]] interpretation of Bender as less of a LovableRogue and more of a VillainProtagonist works.
----
!!This book features examples of:
* AmbiguouslyJewish: There are some reasons to believe Bender is of Jewish descent.
** UnfortunateImplications regarding his con-man tendencies if that is the case.
** Also, his Odessa roots (a very Jewish city) and his claim of being the son of one Turkish subject (Jews often used foreign passports, especially readily available Turkish papers, as foreign nationality would change their ethnicity to Turk in legal documents).
* AscendedExtra: Bender himself was intended as a one-scene character, but became a OneSceneWonder for the authors and had immediately [[SpotlightStealingSquad stolen the spotlight]].
* BrainlessBeauty: Ellochka. Her vocabulary is ''thirty'' words large.
* ButtMonkey: Kisa Vorobyaninov goes from one humiliation to another. Also Father Fyodor to some extent.
* CatchPhrase: Bender's ''[[MemeticMutation The hearing is continued!]]'' ("Заседание продолжается!")
** Also, ''The ice has broken!'' ("Лед тронулся!")
** And several mentions about obtaining "the key to the apartment where the money is" ("ключ от квартиры, где деньги лежат") Ostap has several "Benderisms" which have since entered the Russian colloquial lexicon.
* TheCharmer: Bender again.
* TheChessmaster: Bender refers to himself as "The Great Combinator". The narration agrees.
** Not literally, though. His skill at chess is miserable, that's why his [[TheCon "World Chess Tournament" con]] quickly went sour.
* ConMan: Bender.
* ConvulsiveSeizures
* CorruptChurch: Father Fyodor. The catholic monks in the sequel also qualify, according to Bender.
* CriticalResearchFailure: Poet Lapis-Trubetskoy is notorious for that in-universe. No, Lapis, jackals are not "snake-shaped"! And peignoir is not a ball gown!
* DeadpanSnarker: Bender.
* DrivenToMadness: Father Fyodor.
* DownerEnding: [[ShootTheShaggyDog And how.]]
* GiftedlyBad: Lapis-Trubetskoy, whose poems are filled with inane tautologies. Bender calls him [[FreudianSlip Lapsus]]-Trubetskoy. Later he is seen trying to sell poetry to several different magazine editors, changing the subject matter every time—for example, he calls his submission to a medical journal "The Ballad of Gangrene."
* IconicOutfit: Bender's white scarf, sea captain's cap and checkerboard vest.
* IndyPloy: Another side of Ostap Bender's "The Great Combinator" persona. He is incredibly adept at inventing new scams on the fly and getting out of trouble with quick thinking.
* JerkAss: Bender, when he feels no need to be TheCharmer. Film versions tends to downgrade his jerkassery a bit.
* KarmaHoudini: Alchen, the most despicable character in the book.
* LovableRogue: Bender.
* MacGuffin: The chair set.
* AMacGuffinFullOfMoney: of very expensive jewelry, to be precise.
* MeaningfulName: Town named Stargorod (literally "Oldtown").
** Bender tries to play this on real life Proval resort ("The Fall", may be freely translated as "The Pit", [[spoiler:[[IncrediblyLamePun not to be mistranslated as "The FAIL", please]]]]) by shaking tips out from random bypassers:
--->'''Bender:''' That's for the reconstruction of Proval, [[StealthPun so it wouldn't fall down.]]
* MyHairCameOutGreen: One of the protagonists tries to dye his hair and eyebrows and mustache a darker colour, but the dye is counterfeit and ends up turning him a rabid green colour. The poor sod ends up having to shave his head completely devoid of hair.
* NakedPeopleTrappedOutside: happened to engineer Shukin.
* NoblewomansLaugh: Ellochka, in a slightly milder variant. ''Ho-ho.''
* SinisterMinister: Father Fyodor. He finds out about Vorobyaninov's talk with his dying mother-in-law (and therefore the chairs) by staying behind and [[ExactEavesDropping listening at the keyhole]] after he gave her her final rites, and later, he persuades his long-suffering wife to sell practically all their possessions to finance his travels all around the Soviet Union in search of the chairs.
* SceneryPorn: When characters travels down the Volga river.
* ThoseTwoActors: Mironov and Papanov duo in one of the adaptations
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Kisa Vorobyaninov
* UnknownRival: Turned UpToEleven with Ellochka Schukina and her ridiculous "rivalry" with Consuelo Vanderbilt.
----
[[redirect:Literature/TheTwelveChairs]]
31st Jan '13 9:31:57 AM SeptimusHeap
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Added DiffLines:

* IconicOutfit: Bender's white scarf, sea captain's cap and checkerboard vest.
22nd Nov '12 3:00:34 AM Hoffmann
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* JerkAss: Bender, when he feels no need to be TheCharmer.

to:

* JerkAss: Bender, when he feels no need to be TheCharmer. Film versions tends to downgrade his jerkassery a bit.
22nd Nov '12 2:52:58 AM Hoffmann
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Added DiffLines:

* JerkAss: Bender, when he feels no need to be TheCharmer.
31st Oct '12 12:52:27 PM pasta711
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The two "comrades" ''nearly'' get the prize at the auction, but because Kisa screwed up and squandered all their cash, the chair set [[GottaCatchThemAll is split up and sold individually]]. They are not alone in this quest, either: [[CorruptChurch Father Fyodor]] took advantage of the deathbed confession, and has also set off to recover the fortune. In this search for Mme Petukhova's treasure, he becomes Vorobyaninov's main rival. While in this enterprise Ostap is in his element, Vorobyaninov is not so happy. [[FaceHeelTurn He's steadily abandoning his principles and losing self-esteem]].

The OddCouple [[WalkingTheEarth travels across the USSR]] in search of the McGuffin, going through a number of AdventureTowns, giving the author a chance to satirize a wide section of the USSR populace.

to:

The two "comrades" ''nearly'' get the prize at the auction, but because Kisa screwed up and squandered all their cash, the chair set chairs are [[GottaCatchThemAll is split up and sold individually]]. They are not alone in this quest, either: [[CorruptChurch Father Fyodor]] took advantage of the deathbed confession, and has also set off to recover the fortune. In this search for Mme Petukhova's treasure, he becomes Vorobyaninov's main rival. While in this enterprise Ostap is in his element, Vorobyaninov is not so happy. [[FaceHeelTurn He's steadily abandoning his principles and losing self-esteem]].

The OddCouple [[WalkingTheEarth travels across the USSR]] in search of the McGuffin, MacGuffin, going through a number of AdventureTowns, giving the author a chance to satirize a wide section of the USSR populace.
21st Oct '12 12:48:19 PM Hoffmann
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Added DiffLines:

* DrivenToMadness: Father Fyodor.
21st Oct '12 6:03:00 AM Hoffmann
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* SceneryPorn: When characters travel down the Volga river.

to:

* SceneryPorn: When characters travel travels down the Volga river.
21st Oct '12 6:02:41 AM Hoffmann
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Added DiffLines:

* SceneryPorn: When characters travel down the Volga river.
6th Sep '12 12:02:43 AM Hoffmann
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* CriticalResearchFailure: Poet Lapis-Trubetskoy is notorious for that in-universe. No, Lapis, jackals are not "snake-shaped"!

to:

* CriticalResearchFailure: Poet Lapis-Trubetskoy is notorious for that in-universe. No, Lapis, jackals are not "snake-shaped"!"snake-shaped"! And peignoir is not a ball gown!
5th Sep '12 11:59:59 PM Hoffmann
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Added DiffLines:

* CriticalResearchFailure: Poet Lapis-Trubetskoy is notorious for that in-universe. No, Lapis, jackals are not "snake-shaped"!
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