Bulgakov's Last Decade: The Writer as Hero by J. A. E. Curtis

By J. A. E. Curtis

Released in 1987, this e-book was once the 1st full-length interpretative examine in English of the later writings of the phenomenal Soviet novelist and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940). the point of interest is the Nineteen Thirties, the interval whilst Bulgakov was once writing The grasp and Margarita, a rare novel that has had a profound impression within the Soviet Union and that's now more often than not considered as his masterpiece. utilizing fabric from Soviet files and libraries, Dr Curtis means that Bulgakov's basic preoccupation during this movel with the future of literature and of the author is mirrored in different significant works of an analogous interval, particularly his writings on Pushkin and Molière. Bulgakov emerges as a belated romantic, a determine certain at the early Soviet literacy scene.

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Stanislavsky was also worried about the ending of the play, which he considered unacceptably pessimistic, and he even toyed with Gorchakov's suggestion that a heartening slogan might be more suitable: Perhaps we really should fnish off with an announcement: 'He is dead, but his glory and his creations live on. ' I think that's not bad. Ifwe generally keep going along the lines we've sketched out, then we'll end up with a good play. Bulgakov sells himself short at times. If he were to agree to what has been proposed, then it would be a good play.

G. Sakhnovsky, in a letter of June 1934 where he commented to Bulgakov that for the younger generation at the theatre The Days The tempering of the steel 21 ofthe Turbins had been 'a new Chayka (Seagull)'. 54 While Bulgakov would have appreciated Sakhnovsky's intended compliment regarding his play's importance for the development of the theatre, he may have had reservations about any parallels between himself and Chekhov as a personality. There is no evidence to suggest that Bulgakov prized any of Chekhov's stories or plays especially highly, and in 1935 he wrote to Popov to tax him with his enthusiastic evaluation of an edition of Chekhov's correspondence: You've distressed me with your opinion of the Chekhov correspondence.

In reality, the dispute and protests about the play took place in 1664, and led to the play being banned before it had even been completed; it was only in 1669 that permission to perform it was granted, after which there was no further intervention from Louis XIV. In Bulgakov's version, Moliere is initially shown favour by the King, and the play is allowed; some time later, however, it is banned. The historical Moliere, so far as we know, did not perceive the 1664 banning of Tartuffe as a particularly devastating blow.

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