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Stejfors, Reginald. Reginald Stejfors was created by the Russian author Venjamin Kaverin (The Fifth Wanderer, Nevorozhin, Panaev, Shmerl, Shvarc) and appeared in Bochka (1924).

Reginald Stejfors is a Russian mathematician who dies. In his will he reveals the location of a certain “treasure” which is supposedly immensely valuable. Stejfors’ father, a mathematician, races to the location. Stejfors’ brother, a gang member, tries to beat his father to the location. They arrive at the same time and discover that the treasure is the discovery that all of London, the City and its suburbs, are on the inside of a giant wine cask which is rolling along on some extradimensional, hard surface. The location that Stejfors’ will revealed was the spot from which the wall of the cask can be seen. Stejfors’ father and brother, and the brother’s gang, use a large amount of dynamite to blow a hole in the side of the cask. However, as they exit the cask, it rolls on top of them and crushes them.

* I'm including Bochka in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of its imaginative content. Kaverin was an imaginative writer, without a doubt, and Bochka is one of his best and most creative novels. It begins normally but then leads into surreality and to an absurdist conclusion so abrupt that it provokes surprised and delighted laughter in the reader. Bochka doesn't fit easily with the Soviet literature of the time, although one can see themes in it that appear in other novels by him. One could even argue that Bochka was ahead of its time not just in terms of Soviet literature but also of the literature of the rest of the world, and that it would have fit better among the literature of the 1960s. 

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