Archibald Archibaldovich

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Role

Archibald Archibaldovitch is the manager of the restaurant of the writers' house Griboedov where the guests are spoiled with «perch au naturel done to order», praised as a «virtuoso little treat, for only fifty-five kopecks»! In the Coliseum a portion of perch costs thirteen roubles for three-day-old perch. «Eggs en cocotte», «mushroom puree in little dishes», «Quail à la genoise»... it's not clear how he managed to organize all this, but he was quite capable to ensure a pretty good life to his public - the members of MASSOLIT.

The commander of the brig or the pirate as Bulgakov called him a few times, is also a man of action. He inquired the doorman, who had allowed Ivan-in-his-underpants to enter "as a member of MASSOLIT". «A man in his underwear can walk the streets of Moscow only in this one case, that he's accompanied by the police, and only to one place - the police station! And you, if you're a doorman, ought to know that on seeing such a man, you must, without a moment's delay, start blowing your whistle». Having said this, the commander commanded precisely, clearly, rapidly: «Get Pantelei from the snack bar. Police. Protocol. A car. To the psychiatric clinic.» And he added: «Blow your whistle!»

So Archibaldovitch is responsible for Ivan's transportation to the hospital, where he will meet the master.

Background

The prototype for Archibald Archibaldovich was Yakov Danilovich Rozental (1893-1966), nicknamed the Beard - for reasons that should be obvious from this photo. The same reasons why Bulgakov called him the pirate.

Yakov Rozental moved from Kiev to Moscow in 1921. He was the manager of the restaurant of the Hertzen House (which was the prototype for Griboedov) and the restaurant of the Journalists' Union from 1925 to 1931. The Bulgakovs were acquainted with Rozental, and Elena Sergeevna Shilovskaya (1893-1970) mentions him in her diary. On August 11, 1939, she wrote: «Yakov Danilovich is funny. He serves gastronomic products, and then he talks about the theatre play as if he personally has watched it.»



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