Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Bulgakov

Overview
Mikhaíl Afanásyevich Bulgákov ' onMouseout='HidePop("46179")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Kiev">Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300.
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Quotations

‘He's clever,' thought Ivan,' I must admit there are a few bright ones among the intellectuals'

'What is all this? Damn me if I don't have you thrown out of here!' The beast just smiled and said: 'Damn you, I think you said? Very well!'

'What's the use of dying in a ward surrounded by a lot of groaning and croaking incurables? Wouldn't it be much better to throw a party with that twenty-seven thousand and take poison and depart for the other world to the sound of violins, surrounded by lovely drunken girls and happy friends?'

'Is that vodka?' Margarita asked weakly. The cat jumped up from its chair in indignation. 'Excuse me, your majesty,' he squeaked, 'do you think I would give vodka to a lady? That is pure spirit!'

'Unfortunately I cannot show it to you,' replied the master, 'because I burned it in my stove.I'm sorry but I don't believe you,' said Woland. 'You can't have done. Manuscripts don't burn.'

'Don't be afraid, Queen ... don't be afraid, Queen, the blood has long since gone into the earth. And where it was spilled, grapevines are already growing.'

'Never ask for anything! Never for anything, and especially from those who are stronger than you. They'll make the offer themselves, and give everything themselves.' :Woland to Margarita

'I had the pleasure of meeting that young man at the Patriarch's Ponds. He almost drove me mad myself, proving to me that I don't exist. But you do believe that it is really I?' :Woland to Master, about Ivan Homeless

Encyclopedia
Mikhaíl Afanásyevich Bulgákov ' onMouseout='HidePop("46179")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Kiev">Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 – March 10, 1940, Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

) was a Soviet Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 writer and playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider the book to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and one of the foremost Soviet satires, directed against a...

, which The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

of London has called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.

Biography



Mikhail Bulgakov was born on May 15, 1891 in Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, at that time in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. He was one of seven children (the oldest of three brothers) of Afanasiy Bulgakov, an assistant professor at the Kiev Theological
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 Academy, and a former teacher Varvara Mikhailovna. Both of his grandfathers were clergymen in the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

. Friendship, respect, and mutual love reigned in Bulgakov's large family and happy home. From childhood Bulgakov was drawn to theater. At home, he wrote comedies, which his brothers and sisters acted out.

In 1901 Bulgakov joined the First Kiev Gymnasium, where he developed an interest in Russian
Russian literature
Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union...

 and European literature
European literature
European literature refers to the literature of Europe.European literature includes literature in many languages; among the most important of the modern written works are those in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Polish, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Czech and Russian and works by the...

 (his favorite authors at the time being Gogol, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov....

, Saltykov-Shchedrin, and Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

), theatre and opera. The teachers of the Gymnasium exerted a great influence on the formation of his literary taste. After the death of his father in 1907, Mikhail's mother, a well-educated and extraordinary diligent person, assumed responsibility for his education. After graduation from the Gymnasium in 1909, Bulgakov entered the Medical Faculty of St. Vladimir University, which he finished with special commendation to become a physician at the Kiev Military Hospital.
In 1913 Bulgakov married Tatiana Lappa. At the outbreak of the First World War he volunteered with the Red Cross as a medical doctor and was sent directly to the frontline, where he was badly injured at least twice. Bulgakov suffered from his long-acting war wounds, which had a bad effect on his health. To suppress chronic pain, especially in the abdomen, he injected himself with morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

. Throughout the following year his addiction grew stronger. In one year (in 1918) he finished injecting himself with morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and never used it in the future. His book, entitled Morphine and released in 1926, provided an account of the writer's state during these years.

In 1916, Bulgakov graduated from the Medical Department of Kiev University
Kiev University
Taras Shevchenko University or officially the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv , colloquially known in Ukrainian as KNU is located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is the third oldest university in Ukraine after the University of Lviv and Kharkiv University. Currently, its structure...

 and, after serving as a surgeon at Chernovtsy hospital, was appointed provincial physician to Smolensk
Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

 province. His life in those days were is reflected in his Country Doctor's Notebook. In September 1917 Bulgakov was moved to the hospital in Vyazma
Vyazma
Vyazma is a town and the administrative center of Vyazemsky District of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Vyazma River, about halfway between Smolensk and Mozhaysk. Throughout its turbulent history, the city defended western approaches to the city of Moscow...

, near Smolensk. In February 1918, Mikhail Bulgakov returned to Kiev where he opened a private practice at his home at Andreyevsky Descent, 13. Here he experienced the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 and witnessed ten coups. Several times successive governments drafted the young doctor into their service while two of his brothers were serving in the White Army. In February 1919 he was mobilised as an army physician by the Ukrainian People's Army
Ukrainian People's Army
The Ukrainian People's Army , also known as the Ukrainian National Army were often quickly reorganized units of the former Russian Imperial Army or newly formed volunteer detachments that later joined the national armed forces. The army for a long period lacked a certain degree of uniformity,...

 and then transferred to the Northern Caucasus. There he became seriously ill with typhus and barely survived. It was in the Caucasus that he started working as a journalist, but when they were invited to return as doctors by the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 governments, Bulgakov was refused permission to leave Russia because of typhus. That was when he last saw his family; most of his relatives after the Civil War and rise of the Soviets emigrated to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

.

After illness Bulgakov abandoned his career as a doctor for that of a writer. In his autobiography, Bulgakov recalled how he started writing: "Once in 1919 when I was traveling at night by train I wrote a short story. In the town where the train stopped, I took the story to the publisher of the newspaper who published the story". Though his first fiction efforts were made in Kiev, he only decided to leave medicine to pursue his love of literature in 1919. His first book was an almanac
Almanac
An almanac is an annual publication that includes information such as weather forecasts, farmers' planting dates, and tide tables, containing tabular information in a particular field or fields often arranged according to the calendar etc...

 of feuilleton
Feuilleton
Feuilleton was originally a kind of supplement attached to the political portion of French newspapers, consisting chiefly of non-political news and gossip, literature and art criticism, a chronicle of the latest fashions, and epigrams, charades and other literary trifles...

s called Future Perspectives, written and published the same year. In December 1919 Bulgakov moved to Vladikavkas and here he wrote and saw his first two plays, Self Defence and The Turbin Brothers, being produced for the city theater stage with great success.

After travelling through the Caucasus, Bulgakov headed for Moscow, intending "to remain here forever". It was difficult to find work in the capital, but he was appointed secretary to the literary section of Glavpolitprosvet. In September 1921 Bulgakov and his wife settled near Patriarch's Ponds
Patriarshy Ponds
Patriarshiye Ponds , nicknamed Patriki , is an affluent residential area in downtown Presnensky District of Moscow, Russia. For the last 200 years, there has been only one pond, although, as the name of Tryokhprudny Pereulok suggests, there used to be more. The area of the existing pond is ; the...

, close to Mayakovskaya metro station on the Bolshaya Sadovaya street, 10. To make a living, he started working as a correspondent and feuilletons-writer for the newspapers Gudok, Krasnaia Panorama and Nakanune, based in Berlin. For the almanac Nedra, he wrote Diaboliad, The Fatal Eggs
The Fatal Eggs
The Fatal Eggs is a science-fiction novella by Mikhail Bulgakov, a Soviet novelist and playwright whose most famous work is The Master and Margarita. It was written in 1924 and first published in 1925...

(1924), and Heart of a Dog
Heart of a Dog
Heart of a Dog , a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, is a biting satire of the New Soviet man written in 1925 at the height of the NEP period, when Communism appeared to be weakening in the Soviet Union....

(1925), works that combined bitter satire and elements of science fiction and were concerned with the fate of a scientist and the misuse of his discovery. The most significant features of Bulgakov's satire, such as a skillful blending of fantastic and realistic elements, grotesque situations, and a concern with important ethical issues, had already taken shape; these features were developed further in his most famous novel.

In 1922-1926 Bulgakov wrote several plays (including Zoyka's Apartment) none of which were allowed for production at the time. One of them, The Run, treating the horrors of a fratricidal war, has been banned by Stalin personally after the Glavrepertkom (Department of repertoire) decided that it "glorified emigration and White generals". In 1925 Bulgakov divorced his first wife and married Lyubov Belozerskaya.

When one of one of Moscow's theatre directors severely criticised Bulgakov, Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 personally protected him, stating that a writer of Bulgakov's quality was above 'party words' like 'left' and 'right'. It was Stalin who found work for the playwright at a small Moscow theatre, and then the Moscow Art Theatre
Moscow Art Theatre
The Moscow Art Theatre is a theatre company in Moscow that the seminal Russian theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski, together with the playwright and director Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, founded in 1898. It was conceived as a venue for naturalistic theatre, in contrast to the melodramas...

. On October 5, 1926, Days of the Turbins, the play which continued the theme of The White Guard (the fate of Russian intellectuals and officers of the Tsarist Army caught up in revolution and Civil war) was premiered at the MAT It impressed Stalin a lot, who reportedly saw it at least fifteen times. Ivan Vasilievich, Last Days (Pushkin), and Don Quixote were also banned. The premier of another, Molier (The Cabal of Hypocrites), which saw Bulgakov plunging "into fairy Paris of the XVII century", received bad review in Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

and was withdrawn from the theater repertoire. In 1928, Zoyka's Apartment and The Purple Island were staged in Moscow; both comedies were accepted by public with great enthusiasm, but critics gave them bad reviews. In march 1929 his career was ruined, and government censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 prevented publication of any of his work and staging of any of his plays.

In despair, Bulgakov wrote first a personal letter to Joseph Stalin (July 1929), then on March 28, 1930, a letter to the Soviet government, requesting permission to emigrate if the Soviet Union could not find use for him as a writer. In autobiography Bulgakov claimed that he wrote to Stalin out of desperation and mental anguish, never intending to post the letter. He received a phone call directly from the Soviet leader who asked the writer whether he really desired to leave the Soviet Union. Bulgakov replied that a Russian writer cannot live outside of his homeland. Stalin gave him permission to continue working at the Art Theater; on May 10, 1930, he re-joined the theater, no as stage director's assistant, and later adapted Gogol's Dead Souls
Dead Souls
Dead Souls is a novel by Nikolai Gogol, first published in 1842, and widely regarded as an exemplar of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an "epic poem in prose", and within the book as a "novel in verse". Despite supposedly completing the trilogy's second part, Gogol...

for stage.

In 1932, Bulgakov married for the third time, to Yelena Shilovskaya, who would prove to be inspiration for the character Margarita in his most famous novel he started working on in 1928. During the last decade of his life, Bulgakov continued to work on The Master and Margarita, wrote plays, critical works, stories, and made several translations and dramatisations of novels, librettos. Many of them were not published, other ones were "torn to pieces" by critics. Much of his work (ridiculing the Soviet system) stayed in his desk drawer for several decades.

The refusal of the authorities to let him work in the theatre and his desire to see his family living abroad, whom he had not seen for many years, led him to seek drastic measures. Despite his new work, the projects he worked on at the theatre were often prohibited and he was stressed and unhappy.

In the late 1930s he joined Bolshoi Theatre
Bolshoi Theatre
The Bolshoi Theatre is a historic theatre in Moscow, Russia, designed by architect Joseph Bové, which holds performances of ballet and opera. The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera are amongst the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world...

 as a librettist and consultant, but left as he saw none of his works would be produced there. Stalin's favor protected Bulgakov only from arrests and executions, but his writings remained unpublished. His novels and dramas were subsequently banned and, for the second time, Bulgakov's career as playwright was ruined. After his last play Batum (1939), a complimentary look at Stalin's early revolutionary days, was banned even before rehearsals, Bulgakov requested permission to leave the country which again resulted in failure. In poor health, Bulgakov devoted his last years to what he called his "sunset" novel. 1937-1939 for Bulgakov were stressful years as he veered from glimpses of optimism, believing the publication of his masterpiece could still be possible, to bouts of depression, when he felt like there was no hope altogether. On June 15, 1938, when the manuscript was nearly finished, Bulgakov wrote in a letter to his wife: "In front of me 327 pages of the manuscript (about 22 chapters). The most important remains - editing, and it's going to be hard, I will have to pay close attention to details. Maybe even re-write some things... 'What's its future?' you ask? I don't know. Possibly, you will store the manuscript in one of the drawers, next to my 'killed' plays, and occasionally it will be in your thoughts. Then again, you don't know the future. My own judgement of the book is already made and I think it truly deserves being hidden away in the darkness of some chest..."

In 1939 Mikhail Bulgakov organized the private reading of The Master and Margarita to the close circle of friends. "When he finally finished reading that night, he said: 'Well, tomorrow I am taking the novel to the publisher!' and everyone was silent", remembered Yelena Bulgakova thirty years later. "...Everyone sat paralyzed. Everything scared them. P. (P. A. Markov, in charge of the literature division of MAT) later at the door fearfully tried to explain to me that trying to publish the novel would cause terrible things", she wrote on May 14, 1939, in her diary.

Mikhail Bulgakov died from nephrosclerosis (an inherited kidney
Kidney
The kidneys, organs with several functions, serve essential regulatory roles in most animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and...

 disorder) on March 10, 1940. He was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Moscow, Russia. It is next to the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent, which is the city's third most popular tourist site. It should not be confused with the Novodevichy Cemetery in Saint Petersburg....

 in Moscow. His father had died of the same disease, and from his youth Bulgakov guessed his future mortal diagnosis.

Early works



During his life, Bulgakov was best known for the plays he contributed to Konstantin Stanislavsky's and Nemirovich-Danchenko
Nemirovich-Danchenko
-People:*Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko , Russian playwright and theatre director* Vasily Nemirovich-Danchenko , Russian novelist and journalist, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko's brother....

's Moscow Art Theatre. Stalin was known to be fond of the play Days of the Turbins (Дни Турбиных) (1926), which was based on Bulgakov's novel The White Guard
The White Guard
The White Guard is a novel by 20th century Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, famed for his critically acclaimed later work The Master and Margarita.-History:...

. His dramatization of Molière
Molière
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature...

's life in The Cabal of Hypocrites (Кабала святош)(1936) is still performed by the Moscow Art Theatre. Even after his plays were banned from the theatres, Bulgakov wrote a comedy about Ivan the Terrible's visit into 1930s Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and the play "Batum" about the early years of Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 (1939), which was prohibited by Stalin himself.

Bulgakov began writing prose with The White Guard
The White Guard
The White Guard is a novel by 20th century Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, famed for his critically acclaimed later work The Master and Margarita.-History:...

(Белая гвардия) (1924, partly published in 1925, first full edition 1927–1929, Paris) – a novel about a life of a White Army officer's family in civil war
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

. In the mid-1920s, he came to admire the works of H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

 and wrote several stories with elements of science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

, notably The Fatal Eggs
The Fatal Eggs
The Fatal Eggs is a science-fiction novella by Mikhail Bulgakov, a Soviet novelist and playwright whose most famous work is The Master and Margarita. It was written in 1924 and first published in 1925...

(Роковые яйца) (1924) and Heart of a Dog
Heart of a Dog
Heart of a Dog , a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, is a biting satire of the New Soviet man written in 1925 at the height of the NEP period, when Communism appeared to be weakening in the Soviet Union....

(Собачье сердце) (1925). He intended to compile his stories of the mid-twenties (published mostly in medical journals) that were based on his work as a country doctor in 1916–1918 into a collection titled Notes of a Young Doctor (Записки юного врача), but he died before he could publish it.
The Fatal Eggs
The Fatal Eggs
The Fatal Eggs is a science-fiction novella by Mikhail Bulgakov, a Soviet novelist and playwright whose most famous work is The Master and Margarita. It was written in 1924 and first published in 1925...

tells of the events of a Professor Persikov, who, in experimentation with egg
Egg (biology)
An egg is an organic vessel in which an embryo first begins to develop. In most birds, reptiles, insects, molluscs, fish, and monotremes, an egg is the zygote, resulting from fertilization of the ovum, which is expelled from the body and permitted to develop outside the body until the developing...

s, discovers a red ray that accelerates growth in living organisms. At the time, an illness passes through the chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

s of Moscow, killing most of them and, to remedy the situation, the Soviet government puts the ray into use at a farm. Unfortunately, there is a mix up in egg shipments and the Professor ends up with chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

 eggs, while the government-run farm receives the shipment of ostrich
Ostrich
The Ostrich is one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member of the genus Struthio. Some analyses indicate that the Somali Ostrich may be better considered a full species apart from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a...

, snake
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

 and crocodile
Crocodile
A crocodile is any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae . The term can also be used more loosely to include all extant members of the order Crocodilia: i.e...

 eggs that were meant to go to the Professor. The mistake is not discovered until the eggs produce giant monstrosities that wreak havoc in the suburbs of Moscow and kill most of the workers on the farm. The propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 machine then turns on Persikov, distorting his nature in the same way his "innocent" tampering created the monsters. This tale of a bungling government earned Bulgakov his label of a counter-revolutionary.

Heart of a Dog
Heart of a Dog
Heart of a Dog , a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, is a biting satire of the New Soviet man written in 1925 at the height of the NEP period, when Communism appeared to be weakening in the Soviet Union....

features a professor who implants human testicle
Testicle
The testicle is the male gonad in animals. Like the ovaries to which they are homologous, testes are components of both the reproductive system and the endocrine system...

s and pituitary gland
Pituitary gland
In vertebrate anatomy the pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea and weighing 0.5 g , in humans. It is a protrusion off the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain, and rests in a small, bony cavity covered by a dural fold...

 into a dog named Sharik (means "Little Balloon" or "Little Ball" - popular Russian nickname for a male dog). The dog then proceeds to become more and more human as time passes, resulting in all manner of chaos. The tale can be read as a critical satire of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

; it contains few bold hints to communist leadership (e.g. the name of the drunkard donor of the human organ implants is Chugunkin ("chugun" is cast iron) which can be seen as parody on the name of Stalin ("stal'" is steel). It was turned into a comic opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 called The Murder of Comrade Sharik by William Bergsma
William Bergsma
-Biography:After studying piano with his mother, a former opera singer, and then the viola, Bergsma moved on to study composition; his most significant teachers were Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers. Bergsma attended Stanford University for two years before moving on to the Eastman School of...

 in 1973. In 1988 an award-winning movie version Sobachye Serdtse
Sobachye Serdtse
Heart of a Dog is a black-and-white 1988 Soviet television film directed by Vladimir Bortko. It is based on Mikhail Bulgakov's novel Heart of a Dog.-Plot:The film is set in Moscow not long after the October Revolution...

was produced by Lenfilm
Lenfilm
Kinostudiya "Lenfilm" is a production unit of the Russian film industry, with its own film studio, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, formerly Leningrad, R.S.F.S.R. Today OAO "Kinostudiya Lenfilm" is a corporation with its stakes shared between private owners, and several private film studios,...

, starring Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev
Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev
Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Yevstigneyev was a prominent Soviet movie and theater actor and one of the founders of Moscow's Sovremennik Theatre. People's Artist of the USSR ....

, Roman Kartsev and Vladimir Tolokonnikov.

The Master and Margarita



The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider the book to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and one of the foremost Soviet satires, directed against a...

(Мастер и Маргарита), which Bulgakov began writing in 1928 and which was finally published by his widow in 1966, twenty-six years after his death, led to an international appreciation of his work. The book contributed a number of sayings to the Russian language, for example, "Manuscripts don't burn" and "second-grade freshness". A destroyed manuscript of the Master is an important element of the plot, and, in fact, Bulgakov had to rewrite the novel from memory after he burned the draft manuscript of this novel.

The novel is a critique of Soviet society and its literary establishment. The work is appreciated for its philosophical undertones and for its high artistic level thanks to its picturesque descriptions (especially of old Jerusalem), lyrical fragments and style. It is a frame narrative involving two characteristically related time periods and/or plot lines: a retelling of the gospels and a description of contemporary Moscow.

The novel begins with Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 visiting Moscow in the 1930s, joining a conversation between a critic and a poet debating the existence of Jesus Christ and the Devil. It then evolves into an all-embracing indictment of the corruption, greed, narrow-mindedness, and widespread paranoia of Soviet Russia. Published more than 25 years after Bulgakov's death, and more than ten years after Stalin's, the novel firmly secured Bulgakov's place among the pantheon of great Russian writers.

There is a story-within-the-story dealing with the interrogation of Jesus Christ by Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilatus , known in the English-speaking world as Pontius Pilate , was the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, from AD 26–36. He is best known as the judge at Jesus' trial and the man who authorized the crucifixion of Jesus...

 and the Crucifixion
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

.

Bulgakov Museum in Moscow


Bulgakov's old flat, and the attic of the apartment building, in which parts of The Master and Margarita are set, has since the 1980s become a gathering spot for Bulgakov's fans, as well as Moscow-based Satanist groups, and had various kinds of graffiti
Graffiti
Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property....

 scrawled on the walls. The numerous paintings, quips, and drawings were completely whitewashed in 2003. Previously the best drawings were kept as the walls were repainted, so that several layers of different colored paints could be seen around the best drawings. Although quite old,the building stayed viable for a while.

Since 2007 the flat is the Bulgakov museum in Moscow. It contains personal belongings, photos, and exhibitions related to Bulgakov's life and his different works. Various poetic and literary events are often being held in the flat. The museum's web site is available in Russian and English.

Mikhail Bulgakov Museum



The Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
Mikhail Bulgakov Museum is a museum in Kiev, Ukraine, dedicated to a Kiev-born Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov....

 (Bulgakov House) in Kiev, (in his family home, which was the model for the house of the Turbin family in The White Guard) has been converted to a literary museum with some rooms devoted to the writer, as well as some to his works
.

One Street Museum



Mikhail Bulgakov is the most outstanding name related to Andrew’s Descent
Andriyivskyy Descent
Andriyivskyy Descent is a historic descent connecting Kiev's Upper Town neighborhood and the historically commercial Podil neighborhood. The street, often advertised by tour guides and operators as the "Montmartre of Kiev", is a major tourist attraction of the city.The descent, totalling in...

. Before he was known as a writer he was a doctor specializing in treatment of venereal diseases. He lived in house №13 and practiced here. Among the items presented on the One Street Museum's
One Street Museum
The One Street Museum is among main attractions of the Andriyivskyy Descent, which houses many of the historic items of the descent, containing more than 7000 exhibits...

 display are original photos of Mikhail Bulgakov, books and his personal belongings.
Museum also presents materials, related to the circle of professors of Kiev Theological Academy, who used to live here at the turn of 20th century and were friends and colleagues of Bulgakov's father.

Legacy


A minor planet
Minor planet
An asteroid group or minor-planet group is a population of minor planets that have a share broadly similar orbits. Members are generally unrelated to each other, unlike in an asteroid family, which often results from the break-up of a single asteroid...

 3469 Bulgakov
3469 Bulgakov
3469 Bulgakov is a main-belt asteroid discovered on October 21, 1982 by Karachkina, L. G. at Nauchnyj. It is named after Mikhail Bulgakov.- External links :*...

 discovered by Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 astronomer Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina
Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina
Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina is a Soviet and Ukrainian astronomer.Working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory since 1978, she has discovered a number of asteroids, including the Amor asteroid 5324 Lyapunov and the Trojan asteroid 3063 Makhaon. She has received a Ph.D. in astronomy from I. I...

 in 1982 is named after him.

The award-winning British writer Salman Rushdie stated that The Master and Margarita was an inspiration for his own novel The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...

.

On May 15, 2011, A Google Doodle in Russia was dedicated to him to celebrate his 120th birthday.

Famous quotes



The following quotes from The Master and Margarita have become catchphrases in Russia:
  • "Manuscripts don't burn" ("Рукописи не горят")
  • "There's only one degree of freshness — the first, which makes it also the last" ("Свежесть бывает только одна – первая, она же и последняя")
  • "Not causing trouble, not bothering anyone, fixing the primus" ("Не шалю, никого не трогаю, починяю примус") - (a "primus
    Primus stove
    The Primus stove, the first pressurized-burner kerosene stove, was developed in 1892 by Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist, a factory mechanic in Stockholm, Sweden. The stove was based on the design of the hand-held blowtorch; Lindqvist’s patent covered the burner, which was turned upward on the stove...

    " is a brand, and by extension type, of portable stove
    Portable stove
    A portable stove is a cooking stove specially designed to be portable and lightweight, as for camping or picnicking, or for use in remote locations where an easily transportable means of cooking or heating is needed...

    )
  • "No ID, no person" ("Нет документа - нет и человека")
  • "Never ask for anything" ("Никогда и ничего не просите")
  • "To speak truth is easy and pleasant" ("Правду говорить легко и приятно")


The following quotes from Heart of a Dog have become catchphrases in Russia:
  • "Never read Soviet newspapers before dinner" ("Не читайте до обеда советских газет")
  • "Take everything and divide it up" ("Взять все, да и поделить")

Novels and short stories

  • The White Guard
    The White Guard
    The White Guard is a novel by 20th century Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, famed for his critically acclaimed later work The Master and Margarita.-History:...

    (1926, translation 2008)
  • Great Soviet Short Stories (1962)
  • The Master and Margarita
    The Master and Margarita
    The Master and Margarita is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider the book to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and one of the foremost Soviet satires, directed against a...

    (1967)
  • Black Snow: A Theatrical Novel (1967)
  • Heart of a Dog
    Heart of a Dog
    Heart of a Dog , a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, is a biting satire of the New Soviet man written in 1925 at the height of the NEP period, when Communism appeared to be weakening in the Soviet Union....

    (1968)
  • A Country Doctor's Notebook (1975)
  • Diaboliad and Other Stories (1990)
  • The Terrible News: Russian Stories from the Years Following the Revolution (1990)
  • Notes on the Cuff & Other Stories(1991)
  • The Fatal Eggs
    The Fatal Eggs
    The Fatal Eggs is a science-fiction novella by Mikhail Bulgakov, a Soviet novelist and playwright whose most famous work is The Master and Margarita. It was written in 1924 and first published in 1925...

     and Other Soviet Satire, 1918-1963
    (1993)
  • A Dead Man's Memoir (A Theatrical Novel) (2007)

Theater

  • The Early Plays of Mikhail Bulgakov, 1990
  • Peace plays: two, 1990
  • Zoya's apartment: A tragic farce in three acts, 1991
  • Six plays, 1991

External links



Full English text of The Master and Margarita Full English text of The Heart of a Dog Full English text of The Fatal Eggs Full English translation of "Future Prospects" and "In the Café" Bulgakov museum in Moscow Bulgakov's biography at SovLit.com Bulgakov's former residence in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 (360 Panorama
Panorama
A panorama is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space, whether in painting, drawing, photography, film/video, or a three-dimensional model....

) Master and Margarita Amateur but very high-quality site, devoted solely to Bulgakov's Master and Margarita (in Dutch, French, English and Russian) Bulgakov's Master and Margarita God, Evil and the Savior A paper on the 'Hermeneutics and the Reconstruction of a Character In Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita'
http://www.marguo.com A French website about The Master and Margarita
Bulgakov museum in Moscow. The Odd Flat Cultural Center,Museum,Theatre "Bulgakov house" in Moscow. Diary of Cultural Center "Bulgakov house" in Moscow. Diary of Bulgakov museum in Moscow Bulgakov museum in Russian Wikipedia Theatre "Bu..." in "Bulgakov House"(Bulgakov Heroes in Moscow). Bulgakov.ru — amateur but very high-quality site, devoted solely to Bulgakov and his works (in Russian)
Mikhail Bulgakov (in German, English and Russian) Bulgakov Project at km.ru Klassika Bulgakov - Russian and English texts online. Mikhail Bulgakov in the Western World: A Bibliography, Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

, European Reading Room