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Mikhail Bulgakov Biography & Facts

Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаил Афанасьевич Булгаков, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil ɐfɐˈnasʲjɪvʲɪdʑ‿bʊlˈɡakəf]; 15 May [O.S. 3 May] 1891 – 10 March 1940) was a Russian, later Soviet writer, medical doctor, and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, published posthumously, which has been called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. He is also known for his novel The White Guard; his plays Ivan Vasilievich, Flight (also called The Run), and The Days of the Turbins; and other works of the 1920s and 1930s. He wrote mostly about the horrors of the Russian Civil War and about the fate of Russian intellectuals and officers of the Tsarist Army caught up in revolution and Civil War. Some of his works (Flight, all his works between the years 1922 and 1926, and others) were banned by the Soviet government, and personally by Joseph Stalin, after it was decided by them that they "glorified emigration and White generals". On the other hand, Stalin loved The Days of the Turbins (also called The Turbin Brothers) very much and reportedly saw it at least 15 times. Life and work Early life Mikhail Bulgakov was born on 15 May [O.S. 3 May] 1891 in Kiev, Kiev Governorate of the Russian Empire, into a Russian family. He was the oldest of the seven children of Afanasiy Bulgakov – a state councilor, a professor at the Kiev Theological Academy, as well as a prominent Russian Orthodox essayist, thinker and translator of religious texts. His mother was Varvara Mikhailovna Bulgakova (nee Pokrovskaya), a former teacher. Both of his grandfathers were clergymen in the Russian Orthodox Church. Afanasiy Bulgakov was born in Bryansk Oblast, Russia, where his father was a priest, and he moved to Kiev to study in the academy. Varvara Bulgakova was born in Karachev, Russia. According to Edythe C. Haber, in his "autobiographical remarks" Bulgakov stated that she was a descendant of Tartar hordes, which supposedly influenced some of his works. 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 and European literature (his favourite authors at the time being Gogol, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Saltykov-Shchedrin, and Dickens), 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 extraordinarily diligent person, assumed responsibility for his education. After graduation from the Gymnasium in 1909, Bulgakov entered the Medical Faculty of Kiev University. In 1913, Bulgakov married Tatiana Lappa. Bulgakov was staying with Lappa's parents in Saratov at the outbreak of the First World War. He returned to Kiev and volunteered for the Red Cross, after which he then took a position as an undergraduate physician at hospital in Chernovtsy. After passing medical exams with special commendation, he was sent to frontline field hospitals in western Ukraine. In 1916 he was transferred to the village of Nikolskoye in the Smolensk Oblast. Bulgakov wrote short stories based on his experience working there, which would be published separately in 1925–1926 when he was already an established writer, and later collected and republished into a short story cycle entitled A Young Doctor's Notebook. The most known story, Morphine, is based on the author's actual addiction to morphine, which he started taking to alleviate the allergic effects of an anti-diphtheria drug, after accidentally infecting himself with the disease while treating a child with the same condition. While visiting Kiev with his wife, they received advice from Bulgakov's stepfather on countering his addiction in the form of injecting distilled water instead of morphine, which gradually helped Bulgakov to end his addiction. In 1917 he was transferred to the village of Vyazma, but later left for Moscow in an unsuccessful attempt to gain a military discharge, and also possibly to seek clinical help for his addiction. After briefly visiting Lappa's parents in Saratov, they returned to Kiev in February 1918. Upon returning Bulgakov opened a private practice at his home at Andreyevsky Descent, 13. Here he lived through the Civil War and witnessed ten coups. Successive governments drafted the young doctor into their service while two of his brothers were serving in the White Army against the Bolsheviks. In February 1919, he was mobilised as an army physician by the White Army and assigned to the Northern Caucasus. There, he became seriously ill with typhus and barely survived. In the Caucasus, he started working as a journalist, but when he and others were invited to return as doctors by the French and German governments, Bulgakov was refused permission to leave Russia because of the typhus. That was when he last saw his family; after the Civil War and the rise of the Soviets most of his relatives emigrated to Paris. Career After his illness, Bulgakov abandoned his medical practice to pursue writing. In his autobiography, he recalled how he began: "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". His first book was an almanac of feuilletons called Future Perspectives, written and published the same year. In December 1919, Bulgakov moved to Vladikavkaz. 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 (Central Committee of the Republic for Political Education). In September 1921, Bulgakov and his wife settled near Patriarch's Ponds, on Bolshaya Sadovaya street, 10 (now close to Mayakovskaya metro station). 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 (1924), and Heart of a Dog (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. Between 1922 and 1926, Bulgakov wrote several plays (including Zoyka's Apartment), none of which were allowed production at the time. The Run, treating the horrors of a fratricidal war, was pers.... Discover the Mikhail Bulgakov popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Mikhail Bulgakov books.

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  • THE MASTER AND MARGARITA synopsis, comments

    THE MASTER AND MARGARITA

    Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky & Christopher Conn Askew

    A 50thanniversary Deluxe Edition of the incomparable 20thcentury masterpiece of satire and fantasy, in a newly revised version of the acclaimed Pevear and Volokhonsky translation &...

  • The Heart Of A Dog synopsis, comments

    The Heart Of A Dog

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    A rich, successful Moscow professor befriends a stray dog and attempts a scientific first by transplanting into it the testicles and pituitary gland of a recently deceased man. A d...

  • The Master and Margarita synopsis, comments

    The Master and Margarita

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    A mysterious stranger appears in a Moscow park. Soon he and his retinue have astonished the locals with the magic show to end all magic shows. But why are they really here, and wha...

  • El Mestre i Margarita synopsis, comments

    El Mestre i Margarita

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    El clàssic modern rus més mític i divertit, traduït de nou al català per Xènia Dyakonova.En aquesta novel·la veritablement única, clàssic indiscutible de la literatura russa del se...

  • Mikhail Bulgakov synopsis, comments

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    Marietta Chudakova

    Marietta Chudakova is an expert on Soviet literature and on the works of Mikhail Bulgakov in particular. Her biography of Bulgakov was first published in 1988 and remains the most ...

  • Mikhail Bulgakov synopsis, comments

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    Marietta Chudakova

    Marietta Chudakova is an expert on Soviet literature and on the works of Mikhail Bulgakov in particular. Her biography of Bulgakov was first published in 1988 and remains the most ...

  • The Complete Short Novels synopsis, comments

    The Complete Short Novels

    Anton Chekhov, Larissa Volokhonsky & Richard Pevear

    (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Aanton Chekhov, widely hailed as the supreme master of the short story, also wrote five works long enough to be called short novels–here brought toget...

  • Mikhail Bulgakov synopsis, comments

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    J. A. E. Curtis

    Mikhail Bulgakov (1891–1940) was one of the most popular Russian writers of the twentieth century, but many of his works were banned for decades after his death due to the extreme ...

  • MIKHAIL BULGAKOV. SHORT STORIES COLLECTION synopsis, comments

    MIKHAIL BULGAKOV. SHORT STORIES COLLECTION

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    Bulgakov was a Soviet playwright, novelist, and short story writer best known for his humor and penetrating satire. Because of their realism and humor, Bulgakov's works enjoyed gre...