This volume of personal writings offers an intimate view of the celebrated Russian author’s life and creative process in the face of Soviet censorship.
Best known for his biting satire of Soviet society, The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov kept meticulous journals, written with keen humor and insight, about his day to day life in Moscow as well as the wider social and political life of early 20th century Russia. But his diaries stop midway through the 1920s—the Bolshevik secret police raided his apartment and confiscated his private notebooks in 1926.
After that incident, Bulgakov began chronicling his thoughts in letters. Writing mostly to friends and family, he also sent letters to literary contemporaries like Maxim Gorky and Yevgeny Zamyatin, and even to Joseph Stalin. These correspondences are both bitingly funny and full of pain, mundane and sublime.
This selection of Bulgakov’s private writings provides a fascinating glimpse into a period of Russian history and literature that was alive with creative energy yet darkened by the iron grip of censorship. The Alma Classics edition of Diaries and Selected Letters is translated by Roger Cockrell with the authorization of the Bulgakov Estate. Cockrell translation reflects the clear, humorous, and profound language of the original with colloquial English idioms and phrasings.