Mikhail Bulgakov

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Bulgakov, Mikhail Afanas’evich


Born May 3 (15), 1891, in Kiev; died Mar. 10, 1940, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer. Born into the family of an instructor at the Kiev Theological Academy.

Bulgakov graduated from the medical department of the University of Kiev in 1916 and was a district physician in Smolensk Province. Bulgakov’s professional literary activity began in 1919. During 1922-26 he was a contributor to the newspaper Gudok. His first collection of satirical stories, Deviltry (1925), generated arguments in the press. The publication of the novel The White Guard (1925-27) remained incomplete. He used the themes of this novel for the play Days of the Turbins (staged by the Moscow Academic Art Theater in 1926). These works, as well as the play Flight (1926-28, produced in 1957), depict the change in attitudes of the old Russian intelligentsia, debunk the idea of the “White” movement, and show the sterility of life in emigration. In the comedies Zoia’s Apartment (produced by the Evg. Vakhtangov Theater in 1926) and The Crimson Island (produced by the Kamernyi Theater in 1928), Bulgakov ridicules the manners and morals of the milieu of NEP speculators and parodies the customs of the small, self-contained world of the theater.

The literary critics of the late 1920’s viewed Bulgakov’s work extremely negatively; his works were not printed and his plays were withdrawn from the theaters. In the early 1930’s, Bulgakov was assistant stage director of the Moscow Academic Art Theater and staged N. V. Gogol’s Dead Souls (1932). In the historical dramas The Bondage of Hypocrites, or Molière (1930-36; produced in 1943) and The Last Days, or Pushkin (1934-35; produced in 1943) and in the biographical story Life of Monsieur de Molière (1932-33, published in 1962), Bulgakov shows the incompatibility of true art with monarchic despotism. The uncompleted Theatrical Novel: A Dead Man’s Notes (1936-37; published in 1965) combines a lyrical confession and satire. From the early 1930’s until the end of his life Bulgakov worked on the novel The Master and Margarita (published in 1966-67). By combining three levels of action—the level of history and legends (ancient Judaea), of present-day manners and morals (Moscow in the 1930’s), and of mysticism and fantasy—Bulgakov created an original form of the philosophical novel, in which he posed the “eternal” problems of good and evil, of false and true morality. As a playwright and narrator Bulgakov was a master of polished realistic techniques, satire, flexible and vivid language, and rapidly moving plots.


Izbr. proza. (Introductory article by V. Lakshin.) Moscow, 1966.
Dramy i komedii. (Introductory article by V. Kaverin.) Moscow, 1965.
“Master i Margarita.” Moskva, 1966, no. 11; 1967, no. 1.
“Avtobiografiia.” In Sovetskie pisateli: Avtobiografii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1966.


Smirnova, V. “Mikhail Bulgakov—dramaturg.” In her book Sovremennyi portret. Moscow, 1964.
Lur’e, Ia., and I. Serman. “Ot ‘Beloi gvardii’ k ‘Dniam Turbinykh.’” Russkaia literatura, 1965, no. 2.
Ermolinskii, S. “O Mikhaile Bulgakove: Glava iz knigi vospominanii.” Teatr, 1966, no. 9.
Lakshin, V. “Roman M. Bulgakova ‘Master i Margarita.’” Novyi mir, 1968, no. 6.
Skorino, L. “Litsa bez karnaval’nykh masok.” Voprosy literatury, 1968, no. 6.
Vinogradov, I. “Zaveshchanie mastera.” Voprosy literatury, 1968, no. 6.
Skorino, L. “Otvet opponentu.” Voprosy literatury, 1968, no. 6.
Palievskii, P. “Posledniaia kniga M. Bulgakova.” Nash sovremennik, 1969, no. 3.


References in periodicals archive ?
"Mikhail Bulgakov: The Life and Times" will be of particular interest to international researchers studying Mikhail Bulgakov's life and works, and is recommended to a broader audience worldwide.
After the end of the solemn ceremony, a concert was held, vouchers for popular destinations of river cruises were played out among the participants, after which the cruise liners Mikhail Bulgakov, Konstantin Simonov , Dmitry Furmanov and Swan Lake .
George Orwell's thinking and talking animals in Animal Farm, the snickering, entertaining cat in Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita and Haruki Murakami's intelligent cats are allegorical representations of characters in surreal worlds.
Literary references from Mikhail Bulgakov and Franz Kafka to Raymond Briggs' Fungus the Bogeyman, pickled eggs and vintage sherry, Talking Heads and Japanese toilets with classic social club signage - you can't get that in Wetherspoons, eh?" The Punch Bowl Hotel officially opens on April 12.
By Mikhail Bulgakov (1973, translated from the Russian)
She describes Cervantes' life and experiences as a warrior and the conditions in which he wrote, with an emphasis on Catholicism, chivalry, and romance; adult adaptations of Don Quixote in English, by Daniel Defoe, Tobias Smollett, Henry Fielding, Samuel Johnson, and others; Edwardian biographies, novels, and essays as literary responses to the novel; Edwardian adaptations for children; collections and home libraries that included Don Quixote with other texts; Don Quixote in pedagogy and schoolbooks; and mid-20th century adult renderings by Mikhail Bulgakov, Tennessee Williams, Dale Wasserman, Joe Dariuo, Mitch Leigh, Graham Greene, and others.
What I hanker for is a less straightforward portrait of any such dictator enlivened through taking into account the writers they tried to punish and obliterate, yet who managed to outlive them: Lenin's ascent to power through the fictions of Mikhail Bulgakov and Boris Pasternak; Stalin viewed from the poetry of Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam, who wrote a biting poem making fun of the despot's moustaches and ended his life in Siberia.
On the eve of the film's screening, Giedre Zickyte spoke to Trend Life about the story of her film's hero the well-known photographer Vitas Luckus, what binds him and the film with Azerbaijan, and the reason why the name of the film is so reminiscent of the title of Mikhail Bulgakov's well-known novel.
That Zivkovic can probe so substantial a theme in such lighthearted works is one measure of his art, the best of which ranks with those of Mikhail Bulgakov, Italo Calvino, and Stanislaw Lem.
Mikhail Bulgakov's plays in the new volume from TCG's Russian Drama Series are given new light by the foremost translators of Russian classic literature, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, with playwright Richard Nelson.
Mikhail Bulgakov's world famous novel "Master and Margarita" comes to mind: "The more lifelike and colorful the vile details with which the administrator furnished his story, the less the director believed the storyteller- [when the story was finished] the director already knew firmly that everything the administrator- was telling him, everything, was a lie!
Schlogel opens the text, moreover, with a long, interpretive re-capitulation of the midnight flight of Margarita from the iconic novel of Stalinist Moscow by Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita.