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MariettaChudakova’s Biography of Mikhail Bulgakov (first published in 1988), by now is THE ONLY FULL-LENGTH STUDY OF BULGAKOV’S LIFE. It  remains the most important and reliable source of information about the writer. In her fundamental work Chudakova recreates the milestones of Bulgakov’s personal and artistic life against the historical background of his turbulent époque. The book is written in a vivid journalistic style, and contains abundant quotes from unpublished Bulgakov’s manuscripts and draft redactions of his novels, archive documents, and memoirs of writer’s contemporaries.

"They must know... They must know," anxious about the fate of his unpublished books, Bulgakov whispered to his wife Yelena on his deathbed. One of the main ideas of his central novel The Master and Margarita is that of justice, which inevitably triumphs in the life of the spirit, although sometimes belatedly and beyond the bourn of the creator's physical death.

Over the years that have passed since the day of Bulgakov's death, his former loneliness has turned into widespread interest in him from readers both in his native Russia and abroad. The growing popularity of his books, which are very "personal" and seem to talk to the reader directly, has attracted attention to the author himself, his biography, and his fate. The fame of Mikhail Bulgakov has taken root in time everlasting. He is dear to people as a writer and interesting as a man who retained throughout the vicissitudes of fate, the dignity and courage of a truly creative personality.

Writers with a great destiny know something about themselves that we do not know or dare not say about them until later. At this juncture interest arises in the figure of the creator himself, in his biography, his personality. Why do we know so little about him? Why does he grow more interesting each year? Bulgakov's destiny has its own dramatic pattern. As is always the case from a distance and after the passage of many years, it appears to contain little that is accidental and shows a clear sense of direction.


Chudakova's 2-part lecture on Bulgakov and Russian literature of XXth century broadcasted on Kultura TV channel, Russia, 2011

Part 2

Part 2

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