White Guard

( 3 )

Overview

White Guard, Mikhail Bulgakov’s semi-autobiographical first novel, is the story of the Turbin family in Kiev in 1918. Alexei, Elena, and Nikolka Turbin have just lost their mother—their father had died years before—and find themselves plunged into the chaotic civil war that erupted in the Ukraine in the wake of the Russian Revolution. In the context of this family’s personal loss and the social turmoil surrounding them, Bulgakov creates a brilliant picture of the existential crises brought about by the revolution...

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White Guard

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Overview

White Guard, Mikhail Bulgakov’s semi-autobiographical first novel, is the story of the Turbin family in Kiev in 1918. Alexei, Elena, and Nikolka Turbin have just lost their mother—their father had died years before—and find themselves plunged into the chaotic civil war that erupted in the Ukraine in the wake of the Russian Revolution. In the context of this family’s personal loss and the social turmoil surrounding them, Bulgakov creates a brilliant picture of the existential crises brought about by the revolution and the loss of social, moral, and political certainties. He confronts the reader with the bewildering cruelty that ripped Russian life apart at the beginning of the last century as well as with the extraordinary ways in which the Turbins preserved their humanity.

In this volume Marian Schwartz, a leading translator, offers the first complete and accurate translation of the definitive original text of Bulgakov’s novel. She includes the famous dream sequence, omitted in previous translations, and beautifully solves the stylistic issues raised by Bulgakov’s ornamental prose. Readers with an interest in Russian literature, culture, or history will welcome this superb translation of Bulgakov’s important early work.

This edition also contains an informative historical essay by Evgeny Dobrenko.

Set in Kiev in 1918. "...passion...that catches the reader up in its sweeping intensity...His characters have a classic universality." --NYTBR_

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Editorial Reviews

Newsweek
"...(he) unfurls great fictional canvases conjuring up the atmosphere and beauty of his beloved Kiev (like) Pushkin...but beneath the effulgent lyricism there sounds a chunk of cynicism..Bulgakov's irony is both broad and finely honed."
New York Times Book Review
"...infused with a pssion for the old city and for its people that catches the reader up in its sweeping intensity....His characters have a classic universality that has kept them alive for half a century."
Wall Street Journal

"Bulgakov''s novel evokes the suffering of the conflict and the still greater horrors that lay ahead."—Joshua Rubenstein, Wall Street Journal

— Joshua Rubenstein

American Translators Association

Finalist for the 2010 Lewis Galantiere Award sponsored by the American Translators Association

— Lewis Galantiere Award

Charlotte Douglas
"Mikhail Bulgakov's White Guard is a classic modern novel by one of the greatest Russian avant-garde writers that vividly recreates the chaos of Revolutionary Kiev in 1918. Marian Schwartz's English translation brilliantly reproduces the author's aural and visual montage of a family caught in the deadly whirlpool of multiple warring adversaries."—Charlotte Douglas, New York University
Wall Street Journal - Joshua Rubenstein
"Bulgakov's novel evokes the suffering of the conflict and the still greater horrors that lay ahead."—Joshua Rubenstein, Wall Street Journal
American Translators Association - Lewis Galantiere Award
Finalist for the 2010 Lewis Galantiere Award sponsored by the American Translators Association
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300151459
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 186,453
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marian Schwartz is a prize-winning translator of Russian who recently received her second Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts to translate Olga Slavnikova’s newest novel, 2017. She has translated classic literary works by Nina Berberova and Yuri Olesha, as well as Edvard Radzinsky’s The Last Tsar. Evgeny Dobrenko is professor in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is author, editor, or co-editor of more than fifteen books, including Political Economy of Socialist Realism, published by Yale University Press.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    a very good book

    I had to write a review because the only other rating this book had was a 2 - it deserves better.
    This book won't make a lot of sense unless you know a little about the Russian Revolution. The introduction explains it pretty well. I skipped the introduction when I read it because I was worried about spoilers and it does give away the fate of some characters. If you read online about the big events of the revolution it should be sufficient for you to catch enough references to follow the book.

    Bulgakov is absolutely a genius in the way he describes things, the metaphors and styles he chooses to use. There's one part where he describes people's expressions like different hours on a clock face. It would only sound weird if I tried to describe it, but he did it beautifully. It's very worth reading and the finale of the book is one of the best endings I've ever read, I think. A great book, but I won't give it 5 stars because I don't think it was perfect. Originally it was supposed to be a trilogy, and it has a feeling of incompleteness about it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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