Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Oks met in Odessa in 1919 and took part together in the “Green Lamp” poets club. The amateur club, founded by young lads and girls none of whom were yet twenty years of age, would end up serving as the cradle for a host of literary eminences. Eduard Bagritsky and Yury Olesha, Adelina Adalis and Zinaida Shishova, Lev Slavin and Valentin Kataev— those whom Viktor Shklovsky would later term the “South-Russian School” of national Russian literature. All of them were members of the Odessa club, bound together by friendship and love of poetry. And most of the Odessa poets appear on the pages of writings by the painter Evgeny Oks, a witness to and participant in the luminous age of Russian national literature.
Ilya Ilf, Evgeny Oks