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

By J. A. E. Curtis

Released in 1987, this ebook 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 Thirties, the interval whilst Bulgakov was once writing The grasp and Margarita, a rare novel that has had a profound influence within the Soviet Union and that is now ordinarily considered as his masterpiece. utilizing fabric from Soviet records and libraries, Dr Curtis means that Bulgakov's primary 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 specified at the early Soviet literacy scene.

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Extra info for Bulgakov's Last Decade: The Writer as Hero

Example text

And, like a worm, the dreadful thought began to eat away at my heart that I wasn't in fact going to turn out to be any kind of a writer at all. And then I was struck by the even more horrifying thought that . . well, supposing I were to turn out like Liko­ spastov? And, to be bold, I will go even further: what if I were to turn out (306-7) like Agapyonov? In many ways this is a reflection of the development of Bulgakov's own attitude to modern literature. 66 But even such modest participation in the literary world of his own time diminished as Bulgakov's career progressed and he determined his own literary identity.

The succession of opening scenes combines to assure us of the uncertainties with which Moliere is already beset, and makes explicit the tragedy of his life and vocation even before the Cabal sets about achieving his ruin. Moliere is by no means j ust the victim of political intrigue; it is his destiny as a great artist to suffer. Moliere's transitory victory over Charron in the second act is succeeded by the revelation of a conspiracy against him, and by his discovery of Armande's infidelity. This confirms the pessimistic message of the first act, that hopes and aspirations are soon undermined by human fallibility.

35 We are allowed to share the viewpoint of Lagrange, a sober and compassionate witness privy to all the most intimate aspects of Moliere's life and endowed with a wisdom which enables him to appreciate the essential significance of events in the play. This permits Bulgakov simultaneously to suggest historical authen­ ticity while stressing that he is presenting events through an individual, possibly subjective perspective. While the figure of Lagrange provides the work's narrative clarity, the character of Moirron is vital to the compression and economy of the plot.

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