Fun Facts Friday: Mikhail Bulgakov

May 15, 2020

Mikhail Bulgakov (15 May, 1891 – 10 March, 1940) was a Russian writer best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, which was published posthumously.

Fun Facts Friday: Mikhail Bulgakov
Books by Mikhail Bulgakov*

  1. Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov Mr. Bulgakov was born in Kiev to a religious family. Both his grandfathers were clergymen in the Russian Orthodox Church, his mother was a teacher and his father was a state councilor, a professor at the Kiev Theological Academy, as well as a respected religious essayist, thinker and translator.
  2. At school the author was interested in European and Russian literature, opera, and theater. Some of his favorite authors included Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens, Alexander Pushkin, and Nikolai Gogol.
  3. After he graduated high-school, Mr. Bulgakov started to study medicine at the Medical Faculty of Kiev University.
    He graduated with a special commendation and started to work as a doctor at the Kiev Military Hospital.
  4. During World War I Dr. Bulgakov volunteered to work with the Red Cross, and promptly sent to the front lines. He was badly injured at least twice, which caused him a life-long chronic pain.
  5. To deal with his pain, Bulgakov injected morphine, and grew addicted to it. In 1918 he stopped taking the drug and never touched it again. His 1926 book, Morphine, is an account to that time.
  6. Being an army physician in the Northern Caucasus Mr. Bulgakov contracted typhus and barely survived. He also started working as a journalist at the time.
  7. Returning home after his illness, the author stopped practicing medicine to write. According to his autobiography he wrote a short story on a night train and sold it to the publisher of the newspaper where the train stopped.
  8. Even though Joseph Stalin personally banned at least one of his plays, he also protected the author because he thought his talent was above party partisanship and propaganda.
  9. Mr. Bulgakov joined the Bolshoi theater as a consultant in the 1930s, however he left once he realized that none of his works would be produced there.
  10. In a private 1939 reading of The Master and Margarita, his close circle of friends who attended were horrified due to the fact that they thought publishing it would anger the authorities which will retaliate. The book was published after his death and is considered one of the best 20th Century novels.

Books by Mikhail Bulgakov*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affiliate account

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