Mirra Ginsburg

Mirra Ginsburg (1909–2000) was born in Bobruysk, Byelorussia, and spent her childhood surrounded by nature. This setting was a relief from her family’s extreme poverty and though her parents were poor they raised her with an appreciation of culture and politics. A prolific writer and translator, Ginsburg settled in the United States. She is best know for introducing the West to Siberian and Central Asian folklore, and for her childrens’ books. She has also translated a number of important works of Russian literature, including novels by Mikhail Bulgakov and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

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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