When it was published this was the full, post-glasnost critical biography of Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940), a great comic writer whose works are regarded as modern classics. This account of Bulgakov's career as playwright and prose-writer examines all his works in the context of the changing demands put upon artists in the Soviet Union of the 1920s and 1930s, who were faced with the choice of integrity at the price of silence, or publication and production at the price of conformty with the totalitarian state. Lesley Milne traces through Bulgakov's career an ethical concept of the writer's role, his response to his time, and his search for an audience in and beyond that time.
Table of ContentsPreface; Abbreviations; Transliteration; Dates; List of illustrations; Introduction; 1. Legendary times and extraordinary adventures: the formative years; 2. A calling without distinction: journalism, jottings and Notes on Shirt-cuffs; 3. When empires fall: Diaboliada and Heart of a Dog; 4. The heavenly city: The White Guard; 5. A dramatic debut: The Days of the Turbins and Zoyka's Apartment; 6. Brilliant work: A Country Doctor's Notebook; 7. The race of life: Flight; 8. The tinselled mantle: Crimson Island, 'The Engineer's Hoof', Moliere and the year of catastrophe; 9. All in the wrong direction: unperformed plays and unpublished novels 1930-39; 10. The sunset novel: The Master and Margarita; Conclusion; Appendix A: 'Aleksey's Dream' from The White Guard, translated by Michael Glenny; Appendix B: Letter from Mikhail Bulgakov of 28 March 1930 to the Soviet Government; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.