Andrei Fokich Sokov

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Andrei Fokich Sokov is the manager of the buffet of the Variety Theatre. After the chaotic performance he wants to complain at the Theatre's director, Styopa Likhodeev, because the money he had received the day before for the consumptions at the Theatre's bar was changed into cut-up paper. But, of course, he didn' meet Likhodeev in apartment 50, but Woland and his retinue. In a tormenting dialogue they complain about the feta cheese, the tea and the sturgeon, and they announce to Andrei Fokich en passant that nine months later, in February of the next year, he will die of liver cancer in room four of the First Moscow State University. He visits a doctor, profesor Kuzmin, who will find out, on his term, that the money Sokov used to pay him, changed into labels from bottles of Abrau-Durso wine.

And yes, nine months later Andrei Fokich Sokov died of liver cancer in room four of the clinic of the First Moscow State University.


Andrei Fokich Sokov plays a supporting act in the novel. But is that not typical and essential for barmen? His name Sokov is no coincidence. The Russian word сок [sok] means juice. Соков [Sokov] could be translated as Juicy.

Some of the notions of the tantalizing dialogue between Sokov and the demonic characters became popular expressions in the daily life of the Russians immediately after the first publication of The Master and Margarita. One of these is Осетрину прислали второй свежести or sturgeon of the second freshness. It was common in the Soviet Union to classify things into grades, by which the lesser categories could have a positive name anyway.

Another expression of this dialogue which became very popular was бином Ньютона or Newton’s binomial theorem. It is a rather complex mathematical formula developed by Isaac Newton (1643-1727) giving the expansion of powers of sums. According to Woland's retinue anything is easier than Newton’s binomial theorem, even the prediction of someone’s death.

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