Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita is a masterpiece of world literary The answer is to be found in Stalin's personality and more general in the way by he would most likely have been liquidated in the purges that Nikita Khrushchev .. We think also that the establishment of a clear and sincere relationship [with. In particular, a poem from entitled the “Stalin Epigram,” which Mandelstam After the Great Purge in , however, Mandelstam was charged again with Like Mandelstam, Bulgakov could only share the novel during his lifetime as you consider the unique relationship between fiction and politics. Collaborators is a play by British screenwriter and dramatist John Hodge about the "surreal fantasy" of a relationship between two historical figures, Mikhail Bulgakov, While Stalin types Bulgakov relieves Stalin of the burden of some of his state papers. Inadvertently Bulgakov becomes involved in issuing the orders.
In it Bulgakov concedes that The Days of the Turbins, and his novel The White Guard, from which the play was adapted, embody "my stubborn depiction of the Russian intelligentsia as the best social stratum in our country.
According to him, not only was this entire class bound to behave the way it did, but his own portrayal of its individual members was "entirely natural for a writer who has ties of blood with the intelligentsia". Certainly, this sympathy for the bourgeois devil was integral to the play — and part of the reason for its enormous success.
On the occasion of its premiere, in Octobermembers of the audience groaned and even fainted when they saw their own predicament faithfully recounted, without the Whites being portrayed as vile oppressors. Still, it isn't that Bulgakov was being disingenuous in his letter so much as that he didn't seem to grasp who he was addressing: Rather than grasping the political nature of the abuse directed at his works, Bulgakov responds as a wronged child might to the "unfairness" of his peers, and so appeals to a parent who, he is convinced, not only remains just but who should — in the Freudian fashion — be loving enough to cope with whatever criticism might be aimed at him.
Because, of course, while Bulgakov also wrote of his "great efforts to stand in a dispassionate position with regard to the Reds and the Whites", the truth was altogether at variance. Born in Kiev inthe eldest of what was to become a family of seven children, Bulgakov belonged not only by blood — his father was a professor of theology at Kiev's theological seminary — but also by inclination to the ancient regime. Yet this was not straightforward reaction; rather, the writer's complex political standpoint — fully enunciated in his play, but only really comprehensible to a non-Soviet in the novel The White Guard — had its roots in the same black Ukrainian soil from which the myriad regimes of the civil war sprang.
As Michael Glenny, the eminent translator of both play and novel has observed, perhaps the best way of understanding the position of Russian families in Ukraine such as the Bulgakovs is by analogy with the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland.
Will Self on The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov | Culture | The Guardian
Although Ukraine had been part of the Russian empire sincemany Ukrainians had never been reconciled, while the Russians who formed a significant part of the landed gentry, and who came to occupy senior positions in the professions, the officer corps and the civil service, continued to speak Russian and to look to Moscow as the centre of their culture.
Like many of the Irish Protestants, these people were more loyal than actual Russians to the symbolism — if not the actuality — of tsarist rule.
Certainly the Turbin family, as depicted in the novel, are romanticised — at once liberal, open-hearted and anti-antisemitic if not philosemiticwhile also devoutly Orthodox and possessing no desire for popular sovereignty. In the play, by contrast, they have more believable vigour and confusion, while their political standpoints become flattened into a series of attitudes: Perhaps the most credible of all the characters — in novel as well as play — is Bulgakov's own alter ego, Alexei Turbin.
In the play his profession is ambiguous, whereas in the novel he is — like Bulgakov himself — a doctor. It's left to Alexei, at the climax of the first act, to proclaim what must be the author's own cri de coeur: Still, perhaps Bulgakov can be forgiven his nostalgia.
The first version of the play — then entitled The Turbin Brothers — was written between and in an astonishing burst of creativity that also saw the composition of four other plays. Having qualified inBulgakov had seen six months' service on the frontline as an army doctor; after this he transferred to the civil medical service and worked in a rural hospital.
Then, in Marchnewly married, he returned to Kiev to set up in private practice. With hindsight it may seem strange to imagine the young Bulgakov hoping to find some calm in Kiev at this time, yet Russia's satellites were as yet largely unaffected by the October revolution.
All this was to change when, in the same month that Bulgakov arrived, Lenin signed the Brest-Litovsk treaty; during the next two years Ukraine was to descend not into anarchy, but — which is perhaps worse — a vortex of delusory and impotent regimes.
Some hot-house writers of memoirs have counted I can state accurately that there were 14, and moreover I personally witnessed 10 of them.
Collaborators (play) - Wikipedia
Bulgakov had returned to the family home on Andreyevsky Hill, but he was to discover that doctoring was a risky business, as with the city successively in the hands of a German puppet regime, then Symon Petlyura's Ukrainian nationalists, he was liable to forcible conscription.
On one occasion Petlyura's men took him, and it seems likely that it was at this time he was traumatised by witnessing the torture and murder of a Jew — just one of the scenes subsequently excised by the censor from the play, but which remained in the prose-fiction version of events. Bulgakov arrived in the Caucasus outpost of Vladikavkaz with the White Guard inbut when he fell ill with typhus he was left behind. It was a strange Rip Van Winkle episode — and one that seems highly suitable for a writer who would become one of the great fabulists of the age; for, while he was actually in a swoon, he was abandoned, and the Bolsheviks took over.
When Bulgakov came to, he abandoned medicine as a career and took up his pen. The Turbin Brothers was being performed in Vladikavkaz in Octoberwhile Bulgakov himself was helping to run the literature section of the Department of Culture for the new Soviet administration. By February of the following year he had begun work on the novel version of the story, which he would complete in By then, having tried — although we don't know with what degree of determination — to leave across the Black Sea, Bulgakov had definitively thrown in his lot with the new Russia and moved to Moscow to join his wife.
Some two-thirds of this novel subsequently appeared in the journal Russiya Russia in The final part did not appear because the magazine was closed down — probably in part because of Bulgakov's own writing.
Still, it was available in the West before being so in Soviet Russia. Be that as it may, in the s Bulgakov was recognised as a Russian classic. Bulgakov never claimed he was a conventional Christian as his father was. For he did not trust the Orthodox Church; and in his very unconventionality is to be found the spring of his grandeur. In he took the monastic vows and was given the name Tikhon from the Greek: He taught in several ecclesiastical schools, and in was consecrated Bishop of Lublin, Poland.
Merely a year later, he was made Bishop of Aleutians and Alaska, i.
He spent several years in the United States and —what is more- was given American citizenship . In he was appointed Bishop of Yaroslavl, Russia, and in was transferred to Vilnius, Lithuania. Even today the idea that the Russian Church was in favour of the Romanov Monarchy is widespread. It is quite the contrary that occurred: Paradoxical as it may appear, the Russian Church was, in fact, the foe of Russian Autocracy.
Master of the surreal
The reason is simple and clear: Peter I the Great had abolished the Moscow Patriarchate. The arguments that Jeremias II used in defence of his action were important: This was an assertion harmonized with the prophecy of Philotheus, hegumen in of the Yelizarov Monastery, Pskov: It was a somewhat apocalyptic Weltanschauung which had a considerable impact not only on Russian intellectual and spiritual life but on the Greek ones as well .
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Ironically enough, it was a Russian Emperor and not a Papist or Moslem one to deliver a severe blow to the Third Rome. Actually, in the beginning of the eighteenth century Peter the Great abolished the Moscow Patriarchate, because he saw in the Patriarch a danger to his Crown.
The Orthodox Church was the main pillar of Tsarist autocracy; but it considered itself, too, to be subjugated to the despotism of the Romanovs . He fled abroad shortly after and contacted Lenin, with whom he had several important talks.
Metropolites, Archbishops and Bishops, of the Russian Church . Such feelings were shared by the vast majority of his fellow-clergymen.
On the 30th of that same month the re-establishment of the Moscow Patriarchate was decided and Tikhon was elected Patriarch .
Will Self on The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov
Yet Lenin was a convinced atheist; and in earlyby means of a decree, the separation of Church and State was promulgated. As a result, after the Emperor Nicholas II and his family were put to death, few were the Russians who felt nostalgia for the monarchy .
The Tsar was dead but the Patriarch did exist. So everything was OK. After Stalin seized hold of the State and Party machinery in latea free, prosperous peasantry was tolerated no longer in Soviet Russia. In the early s, therefore, millions and millions of peasants were exterminated — and those who survived were compelled to toil only in the framework imposed by the Communist regime. For the industrialization of the country should be accelerated.