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

By J. A. E. Curtis

Released in 1987, this e-book used to be the 1st full-length interpretative learn in English of the later writings of the phenomenal Soviet novelist and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940). the focal point 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 in general considered as his masterpiece. utilizing fabric from Soviet data 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 identical interval, particularly his writings on Pushkin and Molière. Bulgakov emerges as a belated romantic, a determine designated at the early Soviet literacy scene.

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

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These examples of the insistence of the authorial voice in Bulgakov's writing demonstrate again his dis­ regard for the aim of achieving 'objectivity' . All these features lend further weight to the argument that Bulgakov perceives art primarily through the person of the artist, rather than through his work, the greatness of which is assumed and not discussed. Both biographical and autobiographical perspectives are deployed in his work: he writes about historical figures in some instances, and about himself in other, more or less autobiographi­ cal works such as Cuffnotes, For my Secret Friend, and A Theatrical Novel.

We should not conclude from this that Bulgakov was in any way ignorant of the literature of Western Europe and America. His education at the Kiev gymna­ sium had given him a thorough grounding in the classics; and while it is probably fair to say that he was not a gifted linguist, he was at least familiar with Greek and Latin: He valued Latin highly for its laconic concision , its rhythm and sonorous­ ness. He was fond of Lucian and had of course read Tacitus, Ovid and Cornelius Nepos. His favourite Greek dramatist was Sophocles.

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. One of Bulgakov's main sources for the play was Grimarest, whose 1705 biography of Moliere will be discussed at greater length below; it is notable for the fact that one of Moliere's actors, Baron, was Grimarest's main informant.

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