I. E. Babel
My first goose
Correspondent of the newspaper “Red Cavalryman” Liutov (narrator and lyrical hero) is in the ranks of the First Cavalry Army headed by S. Budyonny. The First Horse, fighting with the Poles, makes a trek through Western Ukraine and Galicia. Among the gunmen, Liutov is a stranger. Ochkarik, an intellectual, a Jew, he feels condescending, mocking, and even hostile attitude on the part of the fighters. “You’re from kinderbalzamov… and glasses at the nose.” What a lousy one! “They whispered you, without asking, and then they cut for their glasses,” he tells Six Sawicki when he comes to him with a paper about seconding him to the division headquarters. Here, at the front, horses, passions, blood, tears and death. They are not accustomed to stand on ceremony and live one day. Flaunting over the newly arrived literate, the Cossacks throw out his trunk, and Liutov crawls miserably on the ground, collecting scattered manuscripts. In the end, after starving, he demands that the mistress feed her. Without waiting for a response, he pushes her into the chest, takes another’s saber and kills the goose staggering in the yard, and then orders the hostess to fry it. Now the Cossacks no longer mock him, they invite him to eat with them. Now he is almost like his own, and only his heart, stained with murder, in a dream “creaked and flowed”.
Death of Dolgushov
Biography of Paulichenka, Matvey Rodionitch
Liutov envies the firmness and determination of fighters who do not feel, like him, false, as it seems to him, sentimentality. He wants to be his own. He is trying to understand the “truth” of the gunmen, including the “truth” of their cruelty. Here the red general talks about how he paid off with his former baron Nikitinsky, who before the revolution had a swine of pigs. Barin pestered his wife Nastya, and now Matvei, becoming a red commander, came to his estate to avenge the offense. He does not shoot at him right away, though he asks for it, and tramples his hour or more in front of Nikitinsky’s crazy wife, and so, according to him, he fully knows life. He says: “Shooting from a man… only you can get rid of: shooting – this is his pardon, and his own heinous ease, shooting to the soul can not reach,
Konammeets Balmashev in a letter to the editorial office of the newspaper describes the events that happened to him on a train moving to Berdichev. At one of the stations, the fighters let a woman with a baby-child, supposedly traveling to a date with her husband, get into the wagon. However, on the way, Balmashev begins to doubt the honesty of this woman, he comes to her, tears off the diaper from the baby and discovers under them “a good salt puddler.” Balmashev pronounces a fiery accusatory speech and throws the baggie on the go under the escarpment. Seeing her unharmed, he removes the “right screw” from the wall and kills a woman, washing away “this shame from the face of the laboring land and the republic.”
The boy Vasily Kurdyukov wrote a letter to his mother asking him to send him something to eat and talking about brothers fighting like the Reds. One of them, Fedor, who was taken prisoner, was killed by a white father, a company commander from Denikin, a “guard under the old regime.” He cut his son to darkness, “saying – a skin, a red dog, a son of a bitch and a variety”, “until Fyodor Timofeich’s brother ended.” And after a while, the father himself, trying to hide, repainted his beard, falls into the hands of another son, Stepan, and he, having sent his brother Vasya from the yard, in turn, ends his father.
At the young Kuban Prishchepa, who fled from the Whites, they in revenge killed their parents. The property was plundered by neighbors. When White was driven out, Prishchepa returned to his native village. He takes the cart and goes home to collect his gramophones, jugs for kvass and embroidered towels. In those huts where he finds things of his mother or father, Prishchepa leaves pinned old women, dogs hanged over a well, icons stained with a litter. Having arranged the collected things in places, he locks himself in his father’s house and drinks, drinks, sings and cuts the table with the saber for two days. On the third night the flame is engaged over his hut. Prishchepa removes the cow from the stall and kills her. Then he jumps on his horse, throws a strand of his hair into the fire and disappears.
Squadron Trunov is looking for officers among the captive Poles. He pulls out an officer’s cap from the heap deliberately dropped by the Poles and puts it on the head of a captive old man who claims that he is not an officer. His cap is just right for him, and Trunov stabs the prisoner. Immediately the dying man is selected by the marauder Andryushka Vosmiletov and pulls off his pants. Taking two more uniforms, he goes to the baggage, but indignant Trunov orders him to leave the junk, shoots Andryushka, but misses. A little later he, along with Vosmiletov, enters into battle with American airplanes, trying to knock them out of the machine gun, and both die in this battle.
The story of one horse
Passion reigns in the artistic world of Babel. For a horse-soldier, “a horse is a friend… A horse is a father…”. Having begun Savitsky took away the white stallion from the commander of the first squadron, and since that time Khlebnikov is yearning for revenge, he is waiting for his time. When Savitsky is removed, he writes to the army headquarters a petition for the return of his horse. Having received a positive resolution, Khlebnikov goes to the disgraced Savitsky and demands to give him a horse, but the former having started, threatening with a revolver, resolutely refuses. Khlebnikov again seeks justice from the chief of staff, but he drives him away from himself. As a result, Khlebnikov writes a statement where he expresses his resentment towards the Communist Party, which can not return “his blood”, and a week later is demobilized as a disabled person with six wounds.
When the Bishops kill the favorite horse in Afonka, the upset Conanmeer disappears for a long time, and only a menacing murmur in the villages indicates the evil and predatory trace of Afonka’s robbery, which takes a horse. Only when the division enters Berestechko, finally appears Afonka on a tall stallion. Instead of the left eye on his charred face, a monstrous pink tumor. It still has not cooled the heat of the freemen, and it crushes everything around him.
The icons of the Novogradsky church have their own history – “the history of an unheard-of war between the powerful body of the Catholic Church, on the one hand, and the careless pious on the other,” a war that lasted three decades. These icons are painted by a holy artist, Apollo, who made his art into holy ordinary people. He, who presented a diploma about the end of the Munich Academy and his paintings on the themes of Holy Scripture (“burning purple mantle, glitter of emerald fields and flowery veils thrown over the plains of Palestine”), the Novograd priest was entrusted with the painting of the new church. What is the surprise of the famous citizens invited by the priest, when they learn in the apostle Paul on the painted walls of the church of the lame junction Janek, and in Mary Magdalene – the Jewish girl Elka, the daughter of unknown parents and the mother of many podsabornyh children. The artist, invited to the place of Apolek, does not dare to cover Elka and the lame Janek. The narrator gets acquainted with Pan Apolek in the kitchen of the escaped priest’s house, and he offers for fifty marks to make his portrait in the guise of the blessed Francis. He also gives him a blasphemous story about the marriage of Jesus and the ignorant girl Deborah, who gave birth to his first-born.
Liutov sees old Jews trading at the yellow walls of an ancient synagogue, and recalls with sadness the Jewish way of life, now half-ruined by war, recalls his childhood and grandfather who strokes the yellow beard of the volume of the Jewish sage Ibn Ezra. Passing through the bazaar, he sees death – mute locks on the trays. He enters the antiquities shop of the old Jew Gedali, where everything is there: from gilded shoes and ship ropes to a broken pot and dead butterfly. Gedali paces, rubbing white pens, among his treasures and lamenting the cruelty of the revolution, which robs, shoots and kills. Gedali dreams of a “sweet revolution”, of the “International of Kind People”. The narrator persuasively instructs him that the International “eat with gunpowder… and season with the best blood.” But when he asks,
Lutovu is sorry for this vortexed revolution of everyday life, with great difficulty trying to save himself, he participates in the Saturday evening meal led by the wise Rabbi Motale of Bratslavsky, whose rebellious son Ilya “with the face of Spinoza, with the powerful forehead of Spinoza” is also here. Ilya, like the narrator, is at war in the Red Army, and soon he is destined to perish. Rabbi calls on the guest to rejoice that he is alive, not dead, but Lyutov is relieved to go to the station where the first train of the First Horse is stationed, where he is waited by the shining of hundreds of lights, the magic splendor of the radio station, the stubborn running of cars in the printing plant and an unfinished article in the newspaper ” The Red Cavalryman. “