New translations

July 7, 2014

Very often you can read in our news pages how we added new songs, new artwork, new theatre plays or new films to this website - all inspired by The Master and Margarita. It shows how, almost 75 years after the death of the author, Bulgakov's masterpiece still touches and inspires people from all over the world.

Amidst all those sounds, rhythms and colours, one could almost forget that this website has also got a serious content like, for instance, an archive section with documents and texts written by Mikhail Bulgakov, and essays about his works and the erain which he lived. Today, this archive section contains already 5.875 pages.

An important part of this section - not in size but in terms of content - consists of texts written by Mikhail Bulgakov, some of which have never been published before. Today we added three new English translations to the website.

Future Prospects

Future Prospects is the first story ever published by Bulgakov, of which he said himself: "One day in 1919, I was on the train and I wrote a short story. In the city where the train stopped I took my story to a newspaper editor who published it". The story was published in Gazeta Grosny on November 13 [26], 1919. By that time, it was all too clear that the Whites were in a critical state in Russia. The main theme of Future Prospects is the feeling of responsibility - or the lack of it - for the fate of the country. Russia is being punished, Bulgakov writes, and only future generations will see their great motherland catch up to the west.

In the Café

The theme of shirking one’s duty as a form of cowardice reappears to animate the fictional scene described in In the Café, an artistic sketch with a bleak outlook on the future of Russia, which was published two months after Future Prospects, on January 5 [18], 1920, in the Kavkazkaya gazeta. Less than a month after publishing In the Café, Bulgakov would give up his medical career for good, regretting the years he had wasted in medicine when he could have been writing all along.

Both Future Prospects and In the Café were already available on this website in a Dutch translation. Now we could also add them in an English translation, made by Sidney Eric Dement of the Binghamton University, New York, USA.

The Steel Windpipe

The Steel Windpipe is one of the eight short doctor stories which Mikhail Bulgakov wrote between 1925 and 1927. Later, these stories would be collected in A Young Doctor's Notebook, a fictional account of a nameless doctor whose experience largely overlaps with its author's. The young doctor discovers that childbirth, tracheotomies and the extraction of teeth go much faster - and get a lot messier - than the medical textbooks had led him to believe. The stories have been translated into English by Michael Glenny in 1975. Some of you may remember The Steel Windpipe from the TV series A Young Doctor's Notebook, broadcast by the TV channel Sky Arts last year, starring Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter).


Click here to read the three stories

Share this page |