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Home The Feuilleton of MilSan and MikWag Bulgakov's Feuilleton Published!

Bulgakov's Feuilleton Published!

This collection of 101 feuilletons (short stories) by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by MilSan and MikWag, spans the early history of the Soviet Union—the period November 1919 to March 1926. During this time, Russia was recovering from WWI, the Russian Revolution, and the Russian Civil War; and was engaged in a massive experiment in social engineering under Communism.

This impeccably crafted book is available for $14.99 here, and on Amazon for 19.95.

Book cover

These stories document this period from the unique perspective of a caricaturist. Bulgakov paints in the small. He depicts ordinary people in ordinary settings, struggling with problems of existence: pointless day-long meetings, bureaucracy, corruption, travel delays, incomprehensible regulations, cronyism, nepotism, red-tapism, drunkedness, wife beating, the housing problem, and encounters with “the healthcare system.” He draws hundreds upon hundreds of characters, with a psychological perspicacity that we in the West have come to expect of a Russian master.

These stories were published in a climate of progressively increasing censorship and repression, which Bulgakov alludes to in several feuilletons. They were published in a variety of newspapers and magazines—under Bulgakov’s own name and pennames such as Ol ‘Wright, F.S-ov, M. Bull, G.P. Ukhov, and Gerasim Petrovich Ukhov (“of the ear”). Only two of these feuilletons have been published in English previously.

Bulgakov's feuilletons stand in the same relationship to his major works, The Heart of a Dog (1925) and The Master and Margarita (1940), as do the sketches of any great artist to his masterpieces. And the reader can see the precursors of characters, settings, and plot elements in them.

Bulgakov’s Gogolian imagination and his playwright’s knack for dialog are abundantly on display in these stories. The action moves quickly. There are twists and turns. But always a poetic ending.