Diaries and Selected Letters

Diaries and Selected Letters Mikhail Bulgakov (Estate)
Pub date 11th April 2013
Original publisher Alma Books (WEL)
International publishers Random House (Germany)




In 1926 Bulgakov’s diaries titled “Under the hill” were confiscated. Since then the writer did not dare to put in writing much of his thoughts, however he continued his struggle against the almighty state. In his letters to Stalin and to the USSR government, to the head of NKVD (the People’s Comissariat for Internal Affairs) Jagoda and to the literary critic Lunacharskiy, to his fellow writer Gorkiy and to his friends and relatives Bulgakov developed some of the ideas and thoughts originally entered in the diary.

Elena Sergeevna Bulgakova, a wife and lifelong friend to Bulgakov, a prototype for Margarita in the famous novel, started her diary in 1933 on Bulgakov’s insistence. Some of the entries were made under his dictation. The diaries and letters of the Bulgakovs are now a novel in themselves, a captivating tale of an artist’s fate in a totalitarian state.


Praise for Diaries and Selected Letters

‘Cockrell has overall done Bulgakov excellent service as his translator. His text reads extremely well … this is a fascinating insight into the many moods, many voices, the resilience and faint-heartedness, bravado and calculation, light and dark, great and small, that made up this marvellous writer.’ – TLS

‘Superbly well translated in this collection by Roger Cockrell, they give a revealing insight into the writer’s thoughts and feelings as he struggled to survive in the unforgiving proletarian culture of the Soviet Union.’ – The Irish Times

‘The diaries and selected letters are an important insight into this funny, accomplished, always humane writer.’ – Philip Hensher, The Telegraph


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