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Manuscripts Don't Burn: Mikhail Bulgakov: a Life in Letters and Diaries (Paperback)
  • Manuscripts Don't Burn: Mikhail Bulgakov: a Life in Letters and Diaries (Paperback)
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Manuscripts Don't Burn: Mikhail Bulgakov: a Life in Letters and Diaries (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 12/04/2012
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The Russian playwright and novelist Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940) is now widely acknowledged as one of the giants of twentieth-century Soviet literature, ranking with such luminaries as Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn. In his own lifetime, however, a casualty of Stalinist repression, he was scarcely published at all, and his plays reached the stage only with huge difficulty. His greatest masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a novel written in the 1930s in complete secrecy, largely at night, did not appear in print until more than a quarter of a century after his death. It has since become a worldwide bestseller. In Manuscripts Don't Burn, J.A.E. Curtis has collated the fruits of eleven years of research to produce a fascinating chronicle of Bulgakov's life, using a mass of exciting new material - much of which has never been published before. In particular, she is the only Westerner to have been granted access to either Bulgakov's or his wife Yelena Sergeyevna's diaries, which record in vivid detail the nightmarish precariousness of life during the Stalinist purges. J.A.E Curtis combines these diaries with extracts from letters to and from Bulgakov and with her own illuminating commentary to create a lively and highly readable account. Her vast collection of Bulgakov's correspondence is unparalleled even in the USSR, and she draws on it judiciously to include letters addressed directly to Stalin, in which Bulgakov's pleads to be allowed to emigrate; letters to his sisters and to his brother in Paris whom he did not see for twenty years; intimate notes to his second and third wives; and letters to and from well-known writers such as Gorky and Zamyatin. Manuscripts Don't Burn provides a forceful and compelling insight into the pressures of day-to-day existence for a man fighting persecution in order to make a career as a writer in Stalinist Russia.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408831212
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 272 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Ingeniously structured ... an absorbing and, at times, uplifting book -- Robert Russell * Modern Language Review *
It is engaging reading and produces a lovely collage effect, the verbal equivalent of the photo album or scrapbook -- Laura D. Weeks * Russian Review *
An engaging and readable story of a life which wears its scholarship lightly ... Rich and exciting material, and there is a great deal of it -- Jane Grayson * Slavonic and East European Review *
Curtis spent a decade trying to negotiate her way past possessive Soviet archivists, and the result of her persistence is the most comprehensive selection of personal documents so far available in any language -- Simon Franklin * Times Literary Supplement *

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