The Golden Calf    Ilya Il'f, Evgenij Petrov, 1930.

This is the homepage for a draft translation of Ilf and Petrov's The Golden Calf, a Soviet comic novel about con men in pursuit of an underground millionaire and his suitcase full of hard currency.

Seventy years after its publication, The Golden Calf remains a cult classic among Russian readers, but it is out of print in English translation. This will be the first time in nearly forty years that The Golden Calf will be available to English speaking readers.

This is a volunteer translation project, and we're making it available to readers free of charge. The chapter links on this page point to our latest revisions. If you like what you read here, please consider helping us with a large donation through Amazon's honor system.


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Translation ©2005 Maciej Ceglowski, Peter V. Gadjokov.

Part I: The Crew of the Antelope

  1. How Panikovski Broke The Treaty
  2. Lieutenant Schmidt's Thirty Sons
  3. Your Gas - Our Ideas
  4. Just A Plain Old Suitcase
  5. The Underground Kingdom
  6. The Gnu-Antelope
  7. The Sweet Yoke Of Fame
  8. A Crisis Of Genre
  9. Another Crisis Of Genre

Part II: Two Combinators

  1. A Telegram From The Brothers Karamazov
  2. The Herculeans
  3. Homer, Milton And Panikovski
  4. Vasisualiy Lohankin And His Role In The Russian Revolution
  5. The First Meeting
  6. Horns And Hooves
  7. Jahrbuch Für Psychoanalitik
  8. The Prodigal Son Returns Home
  9. By Land And By Sea
  10. The Universal Stamp
  11. The Commander Dances The Tango
  12. The End Of The "Voron'ya Slobodka"
  13. I Will Lead The Parade
  14. Heart Of A Driver
  15. Good Weather For Love
  16. Three Roads

Part III: A Private Person

  1. Passenger On The Lettered Train
  2. "Allow The Mercenary Of Capital To Enter"
  3. Potnyj Val Of Inspiration
  4. The Thundering Spring
  5. Alexander Ibn-Ivanovich
  6. Baghdad
  7. The Gates Of Great Possibilities
  8. The Indian Guest
  9. Friendship With Youth
  10. He Was Loved By Housewives, Domestic Workers, Widows And Even A Dental Hygienist
  11. Knight Of The Order Of The Golden Fleece