“Odessa stories” by Babel in brief


The wedding was almost over and began to prepare for the wedding dinner, as a Moldovan raider Bene Creek, nicknamed King, comes to an unfamiliar young man and reports that a new officer has arrived and Benu is preparing a round-up. The king replies that he knows about the bailiff, and about the raid, which will begin tomorrow. It will be today, the young man says. This news Benya sees as a personal insult. He has a holiday, he marries his forty-year-old sister Dvoyr, and the spies are going to spoil his celebration! The young man says that the spies were afraid, but the new bailiff said that where there is an emperor, there can not be a king and that self-esteem is more dear to him. The young man leaves, and three of Benin’s friends leave with him, who return in an hour.

The wedding of the sister of the king of the raiders is a big holiday. Long tables are full of delicacies and unrelated wines brought by smugglers. The orchestra plays carcasses. Lyova Katsap

breaks a bottle of vodka on the head of her lover, Monya the Gunner shoots into the air. But apogee comes when they start giving young. Tightened in crimson vests, in red jackets, Moldovan aristocrats throw gold coins, rings and coral threads with careless movement of their hands.

In the midst of the feast, the alarm spreads to guests who suddenly felt the smell of burning, the edges of the sky begin to turn pink, and the flame’s narrow, sword-like flame shoots out into the air. Suddenly that unknown young man appears and, giggling, reports that the police station is burning. He says that forty policemen came out of the station, but when they left for fifteen steps, the site caught fire. Benia forbids guests to go to look at the fire, but he and his two companions nevertheless go there. Around the site are busy policemen, throwing out the trunks from the windows, the prisoners are running to the noise. Firefighters can not do anything, because there was no water in the next tap. Passing by the bailiff, Benya gives him a military honor and expresses his sympathy.

How it was done in Odessa


the raider Bene Creek in Odessa, there are legends. The old man Arye-Leib, sitting in the cemetery wall, tells one of these stories. At the very beginning of his criminal career, Benchik approached the one-eyed bandit and raider Froim Hrach and asked him. When asked who he is and where, Benya suggests to try it. Raiders on their advice decide to try Benya on Tartakovsky, which contains as much boldness and money as no Jew. At the same time, the audience is blushing, because nine “raids” have already been committed on the “one and a half Jews”, as Tartakovsky is called on the Moldovan. He was stolen twice for ransom and once buried with singers. The tenth raid was already considered a rude act, and so Benya left, slamming the door.

Bena writes a letter to Tartakovsky, in which he asks him to put the money in a barrel of rainwater. In his reply, Tartakovsky explains that he is sitting with his wheat without profit, and therefore take nothing from him. The next day Benya comes to see him with four masked comrades and revolvers. In the presence of the frightened clerk Muginshtejn, the blank son of aunt Pesi, the robbers rob the cashier. At that time Savka Butis, a Jew who was drunk as a water carrier, arrived late in the office. He makes an awkward gesture with his hands and accidentally fires a revolver, mortally wounding the clerk Muginshtein. By order of Beni, the raiders scatter from the office, and Savka Bucis swears that he will lie next to his victim. An hour after Muginshtein is taken to the hospital, Benya is there, summons a senior doctor and a nurse and, introducing himself, expresses the desire that the patient Joseph Muginshtein recover. Nevertheless, the wounded at night dies. Then Tartakovsky raises a fuss over the whole of Odessa. “Where does the police start,” he yells, “and where does Benya end?” Benya drives up to Muginshtein’s house on a red car, where Aunt Pesya is fighting in desperation, and demands from the “one and a half Jews” sitting here for her a one-time benefit of ten thousand and a pension to death. After the quarrel they converge on five thousand in cash and fifty rubles a month. and requires a “one and a half Jews” sitting here for her to receive a one-off allowance of ten thousand and a pension to death. After the quarrel they converge on five thousand in cash and fifty rubles a month. and requires a “one and a half Jews” sitting here for her to receive a one-off allowance of ten thousand and a pension to death. After the quarrel they converge on five thousand in cash and fifty rubles a month.

The funeral of Muginstein Benya Creek, who was not yet called King, suits the first class. Odessa has not seen such a magnificent funeral yet. Sixty singers go before a mourning procession, black plumes wobble on white horses. After the commencement of the requiem, a red car drives up, four hijackers lead out of it, led by Benya, and bring a wreath of unseen roses, then they take the coffin on their shoulders and carry it. Benya makes a speech over the grave, and finally asks everyone to go to the grave of the late Saveliy Boutsis. The amazed present obediently follow him. Cantor, he makes to sing over Savka full requiem. After its termination all in horror rush to run. Then, sitting on the cemetery wall, the lisping Moyseika pronounces the word “king” for the first time.


The story of Beni Creek’s marriage is as follows. To the Moldovan banduette and raider Froim Grach comes his daughter Bassia, a woman of gigantic growth, with huge sides and cheeks of brick color. After the death of his wife, who died from childbirth, Froim gave a new-born mother-in-law who lives in Tulchin, and since then has not seen his daughter for twenty years. Her unexpected appearance confuses and puzzles him. The daughter immediately takes up the improvement of the father’s house. The large and figured Basju do not ignore the attention of young people from Moldavanka like the son of grocer Solomonchik Kaplun and the son of smuggler Moni Artillerista. Basia, a simple provincial girl, dreams of love and marriage. This is noticed by the old Jew, Golubchik, engaged in matchmaking, and shares his observation with Frim Hrach, who dismisses the discerning Golubchik and is not right.

Since that day, when Basia saw Kaplun, she spends all evening outside the gate. She sits on a bench and sews her own dowry. Next to her are pregnant women waiting for their husbands, and before her eyes is the plentiful life of the Moldovan woman – “life stuffed with sucking babies, drying rags and wedding nights, full of suburban chic and soldiers’ tirelessness.” Then Basse becomes aware that the daughter of a cab driver can not count on a worthy party, and she ceases to call her father a father, and calls him only as a “red-headed thief.”

This continues until Basya sewed six night-time shirts and six pairs of trousers with lace ruffles. Then she burst into tears and said through tears to the one-eyed Froim Hrach: “Each girl has her own interest in life, and only one I live as a night watchman at another’s warehouse.” Or do something with me, dad, or I’m making an end to my life.. “This makes an impression on Rook: dressed solemnly, he goes to the grocer Kaplun. He knows that his son Solomonchik is not averse to connecting with Baska, but he also knows that his wife Madame Kapplun does not want to see Frohim Grach, as a person does not want death. In their family, several generations have been groceries, and Kapluns do not want to break traditions. Frustrated, offended Grach leaves home and, without saying a dressed-up daughter, goes to bed.

Waking up, Froim goes to the hostess of the inn, Lubke Kazak, and asks for her advice and help. He says that the grocers are very fat, and he, Froim Grach, is left alone and he has no help. Lyubka Kazak advises him to turn to Bene Krik, who is single and whom Froim has already tried on Tartakovsky. She leads the old man to the second floor, where there are women for visitors. She finds Benya Krika at Katyusha and tells him everything that she knows about Bass and the deeds of the one-eyed Grach. “I’ll think about it,” answers Benya. Until late at night Froim Grach sits in the corridor near the door of the room, from where Katyusha groans and laughs, and waits patiently for Beni’s decision. Finally, Froem knocks on the door. Together they go out and agree on a dowry. They also agree that Benya should take two thousand from Kaplun, who is guilty of insulting family pride.

Lyubka Kazak

The house of Lyubka Shneveys, nicknamed Ljubka Kazak, stands on Moldovanka. There is a wine cellar, an inn, an oat shop and a dovecot. In the house, except Lyubka, live the watchman and the owner of the pigeon-house Evzel, the cook and pimp Pesya-Mindl and the manager Tsudechkis, to whom many stories are connected. Here is one of them – about how Tsudechkis acted as the manager of the Lyubka Inn. One day he smacked a thresher to a landowner and in the evening led him to celebrate a purchase for Lyubka. The next morning it was discovered that the landowner had run away without paying. The watchman Evzel requires money from Tsudechkis, and when he refuses, before the arrival of the hostess, he locks him in Liubka’s room.

From the window of the room, Tsudechkis observes how Lyubkin is suffering from a baby who is not accustomed to the nipple and who demands milk from the mother, while his mother, according to the dog-watching Pesi-Mindl, “jumps over his quarries, drinks tea with the Jews in the tavern” Bear, “buys contraband in the harbor and thinks of his son as about last year’s snow…”. The old man takes a crying baby in his arms, walks around the room and, swaying like a tzaddik in prayer, sings an endless song, until the boy falls asleep.

In the evening Lyubka Kazak returns from the city. Tsudechkis berates her for the fact that she seeks to seize everything herself, and leaves her own child without milk. When the sailors smugglers from the ship “Plutarch”, which Lyubka trades in goods, go drunk, she rises to her room, where she meets with reproaches Tsudechkis. He puts a small crest to Ljubkina chest, which stretches the child, and he, pricked, cries. The old man pushes his nipple and thus disaccustoms the child from the mother’s breast. Grateful Lyubka releases Tsudechkisa, and a week later he becomes its manager.

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“Odessa stories” by Babel in brief