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Lazar Lagin

Lazar Yosifovych Lagin (Russian: Ла́зарь Ио́сифович Лагин) was the pen name of Lazar Ginzburg (4 December 1903, Vitebsk – 4 June 1979, Moscow), a Soviet satirist and children's writer. Lagin is best known for his book Starik Hottabych (Старик Хоттабыч, Old Man Hottabych, 1937), a fairy tale telling the story of a genie who is freed from captivity by a Soviet schoolboy (the general plotline may be borrowed from F. Anstey's Brass Bottle). The genie, as is to be expected, has some trouble in adapting to modern life values and technological development. The book is popular among children and recommended to school libraries by Ministry of general and professional education of Russian Federation; it was made into the film Old Khottabych in 1956. Lagin's science fiction novels are set in imaginary Western "Capitalist" countries and satirize misuse of scientific inventions in bourgeois society. His novella Major Well Andyou (Майор Велл Эндъю) is a satiric sequel to H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.


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