Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891–1940) is best known in the west for his monumental novel The Master and Margarita. A writer who remained in Russia after the Revolution, he had continual difficulty with censorship, and by 1930 his work was barred from publication or production. It wasn’t until years after his death, in 1940, that The Master and Margarita was finally published.

Morphine

Fiction by Mikhail Bulgakov

Translated from the Russian by Hugh Aplin

Young Dr. Bromgard has come to a small country town to assume a new practice. No sooner has he arrived than he receives word that a colleague, Dr. Polyakov, has fallen gravely ill. Before Bromgard can go to his friend’s aid, Polyakov is brought to his practice with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and, barely conscious, gives Bromgard his journal before dying. What Bromgard uncovers in the entries is Polyakov’s uncontrollable descent into a merciless morphine addiction — his first injection to ease his back pain, the thrill of the drug as it overtakes him, the looming signs of addiction, and the feverish final entries before his death.…
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The Life of Monsieur de Moliere

Fiction by Mikhail Bulgakov

Translated by Mirra Ginsburg

Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Life of Monsieur de Moliere is a fascinating portrait of the great French seventeenth-century satirist by one of the great Russian satirists of our own century. For Bulgakov, Moliere was an alter ego whose destiny seemed to parallel his own. As Bulgakov’s translator, Mirra Ginsburg, informs us: “There is much besides their craft that links these two men across the centuries. Both had a sharp satirical eye and an infinite capacity for capturing the absurd and the comic, the mean and the grotesque: both had to live and write under autocracies: both were fearless and uncompromising in speaking of what they saw, evoking storms with each new work: and shared what Bulgakov calls ’the incurable disease of passion for the theater.…
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Flight & Bliss

Theater by Mikhail Bulgakov

Translated by Mirra Ginsburg

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) required the dramatic and fictional forms “as the pianist needs both his left and his right hands.” While he is best known here for his novels, in the U.S.S.R. he is also famous for his plays. Neither of the plays in this volume, Flight (1926-28) and Bliss (1934), was published until long after the author’s death. By 1929, his persistent refusal to conform to the demands of the Communist government and critics had led to a ban on all his work.…
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