Other Literary Forms
Although Mikhail Bulgakov is regarded in the Soviet Union primarily as a dramatist, especially for the plays of the mid-to late 1920’s, he is best known in the West for his novels Master i Margarita (1966-1967; The Master and Margarita, 1967) and Sobache serdtse (1968-1969; The Heart of a Dog, 1968). The fact is, however, that once Bulgakov abandoned his career as a doctor in 1920 to devote himself fully to writing, he composed works in almost all literary forms. Beginning as a hack writer, Bulgakov published more than 160 stories and feuilletons in periodicals, most of them appearing between 1922 and 1927, when the first part of the largely autobiographical novel Belaya gvardiya (1927, 1929; The White Guard, 1971) was published. Bulgakov’s dramatic career was launched when the Moscow Art Theatre asked him to adapt the novel into a play (Days of the Turbins). In addition to the periodical pieces and the plays, Bulgakov wrote several novels; a number of libretti; a stage adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s novel Myortvye dushi (1842, 1845; Dead Souls, 1887); film adaptations of Dead Souls, Gogol’s play Revizor (1836; The Inspector General, 1890) and Leo Tolstoy’s novels Anna Karenina (1875-1877; English translation, 1886) and Voyna i mir (1865-1869; War and Peace, 1886); and a biography of Molière. Late in his life, Bulgakov also wrote his Teatralny roman (1965; Black Snow: A Theatrical Novel, 1967), a satire on Konstantin Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre.