Many new pages

January 15, 2018

Regular visitors to this website may have noticed that we have been updating and expanding many pages over the last few months. We have also added new pages because, even today, eleven years after the publication of our first pages, we find new information and illustrations about the content and backgrounds of The Master and Margarita. We continue to search for everything that can help to better understand Bulgakov's masterpiece, and it is still giving good results. We're proud to present you our three newest publications in the Characters section here.

Ace of Diamonds

In chapter 17 of The Master and Margarita, Bulgakov describes how «the famous Ace of Diamonds» was used by the secret police NKVD to find traces of Woland and his gang in the Variety Theater. Ace of Diamonds is based on a police dog that really existed, and that was called Треф [Tref], which means Clubs.

Click here to read more on Ace of Diamonds and his prototype

Professor Kuzmin

This professor is a textbook example of how one author copies the other without verifying the sources. In many books and articles about The Master and Margarita you will read that professor Kuzmin is «one of the few characters in the novel that kept his name from real life». V. I. Kuzmin is then presented as «the real professor who treated Bulgakov for his nephrosclerosis at the end of the 30s». Usually, you will read that in exactly the same words everywhere. But what they pretend is impossible, because the real professor Vasily Ivanovich Kuzmin (1851-1928) was dead for eleven years already when Bulgakov got this treatment.

The real prototype of the professor Kuzmin from the novel was professor Miron Semyonovich Vovsi (1897-1960), a specialist in liver diseases, who told Brugakov on September 17, 1939, in a rather brutal way that he would die from nephrosclerosis. After which the author got the idea to dictate the scene with the buffet master Sokov and professor Kuzmin to his wife Elena Sergeevna.

Click here to read more on professor Kuzmin and his prototype

The sketch-writer Khustov

A character that is mentioned nine times in The Master and Margarita, but that hardly anyone remembers is the sketch-writer Khustov. Although he is not unimportant, since his prototype in real life was Karl Bernhardovich Radek (1885-1939), a friend of Lenin who would become the secretary of the Comintern or the Communist International in 1920.

Click here to read more on Khustov and his prototype


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