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The Heart of a Dog
     

The Heart of a Dog

4.4 7
by Mikhail Bulgakov, Michael Glenny (Translator)
 

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A new edition of Bulgakov’s fantastical precursor to The Master and Margarita, part of Melville House’s reissue of the Bulgakov backlist in Michael Glenny’s celebrated translations.

A key work of early modernism, this is the superbly comic story of a Soviet scientist and a scroungy Moscow mongrel named Sharik. Attempting a medical first, the

Overview

A new edition of Bulgakov’s fantastical precursor to The Master and Margarita, part of Melville House’s reissue of the Bulgakov backlist in Michael Glenny’s celebrated translations.

A key work of early modernism, this is the superbly comic story of a Soviet scientist and a scroungy Moscow mongrel named Sharik. Attempting a medical first, the scientist transplants the glands of a petty criminal into the dog and, with that, turns a distinctly worryingly human animal loose on the city. The new, lecherous, vulgar, Engels-spouting Sharik soon finds his niche in govenrmental bureaucracy as the official in charge of purging the city of cats.

A Frankenstein fable that’s as funny as it is terrifying, Heart of a Dog has also been read as a fierce parable of the Russian Revolution. It was rejected for publication by the censors in 1925, and circulated in samizdat for years until Michael Glenny translated it into English in 1968—long before it was allowed to be officially published in the Soviet Union. That happened only in 1987, although till this day the book remains one of Mikhail Bulgakov’s most controversial novels in his native country.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As high-spirited as it is pointed. Unlike so much satire, it has a splendid sense of fun.” —Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

“Bulgakov here assaults the dour utilitarian lives of Soviet citizens with a defiant,
boisterous display of nonsense.”  —The Times

“One of the greatest of modern Russian writers, perhaps the greatest.” —Nigel Jones, Independent

Nigel Jones
A blanket of silence succeeded in muffling, but never entirely stifled, his voice. An underground reputation persisted. Young people gathered each week on the stairway of his last home in Moscow's Arbat quarter to read from, act out and debate his work. In the West, in the theatre and literature, he is relished as one of the greatest of modern Russian writers, perhaps the greatest. -- The Independent
Library Journal
Published in 1967, 1975, and 1968, respectively, these display Bulgakov's satiric eye on Russian life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612192888
Publisher:
Melville House Publishing
Publication date:
07/30/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
7.92(w) x 5.08(h) x 0.40(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“As high-spirited as it is pointed. Unlike so much satire, it has a splendid sense of fun.” —Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

“Bulgakov here assaults the dour utilitarian lives of Soviet citizens with a defiant,
boisterous display of nonsense.”  —The Times

“One of the greatest of modern Russian writers, perhaps the greatest.” —Nigel Jones, Independent

Joyce Carol Oates
Bulgakov is richly inventive, with an eye for the grotesque and the satirical.
—(Joyce Carol Oates)

Customer Reviews

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Heart of a Dog 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is really hilarious - but may not appeal to people who are not familiar or comfortable with the sense of humor that was common back in the Soviet era. i loved the character of the dog, who gave voice to things that people in the USSR would dar never say back then. a real winner.
PaulGabrielWinston More than 1 year ago
Bulgakov is well-known for his wonderful novel THE MASTER AND MARGARITA, and I have read that book several times and always been entertained. I and my friend the playwright Howard Pflanzer even went to the trouble of outlining a screen treatment and a score for it, but it is so huge (not in profundity like THE FIRST CIRCLE , for example) bit in settings and the necessity for special effects, that we could find no one to clamber on board with us. But if you want to read the comedic and scintillating apex of this author's work, HEART OF A DOG is for you. It is only a 100 pages or so, and it will always remain among the greatest examples of the world's literature for me. I'll try for an opera with this one.
PeJuKa More than 1 year ago
Of all Bulgakov's works, and he was a wonderful writer, this one stands out the most for me. It is so good that (and I am sure I am not the first person to try it) I will try and make an operatic score out of it. Mirra Ginsburg's translation is topflight too. A note to those completely unfamiliar with this novella: when I was teaching some of the great wave of Russian emigrés who came here in the eighties, a student said to me: "When an American reads HEART OF A DOG he laughs. When a Russian reads it he cries." Find out why . A clue for you: it takes place in the early days of Stalinism. Remember. Enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
twotaone More than 1 year ago
I had no idea that this is in the Russian language; nothing in the reviews or the title of the book revealed that fact, and B&N said they can not do anything for me to either translate it or at least give me a copy that is in English. So, needless to say, I am quite disappointed.