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Mikhail Bulgakov and the Question of Greatness—A Reassessment

I have been invited by the Department of Literature and Teaching Methodology of the Borisoglebsk State Pedagogical Institute (Russia) to write a further article about Mikhail Bulgakov, my subject of specialization, and on whom I have published many articles and a major book Mikhail Bulgakov: Life and Interpretations (University of Toronto Press, 1978). This will be published in a special volume for the 120-th anniversary of Bulgakov's birth in 2011. Although my article will be in Russian, I shall also prepare an English version. Watch this site for details. I hope that my experience as a writer of fiction myself will enable me to produce new insights. 

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Bulgakov's Master and Margarita

Dear Mr Wright,
On one of my trips to Moscow in the 80's we met a theatre group who was going to put The Master and Margarita on stage. After 1989 I was unable to go back, and consequently lost track of them. Having also forgotten any names, do you know of any theatre group there who in fact put it on the legitmate stage? And, could one get a copy of the script as an English translation? It is one of those book I read again every several years. I think it would be well-received on stage here, if done well. Thank you for any information you might have.

Billie Hopkins Furuichi

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The Master and Margarita

A. Colin Wright Dear Billie, I was most intrigued by your letter. The most famous stage production of "The Master and Margarita" was by Yury Liubimov at the Theatre on the Taganka, opening in April 1977. It was practically impossible to get tickets for it without connections, which fortunately I had since my book had been published, and so I managed to see it when I was there a couple of years later. Liubimov was well-known for experimental works. I remember that Hella was portrayed by having her turn her back, on which was depicted a naked woman. It was also said that Liubimov directed the performers by having lights in the producer's box: if he wanted things speeded up, he showed a green one, or for slowing down a red one. The play was severely criticized (of course) and subsequently withdrawn and Liubimov left the country for a while, but with changing times he returned and the play has been in the repertory ever since. Look him up (in English or Russian Юрий Любимов) or the theatre (Театр на Таганке) on Google and you'll find all the information. I don't know whether the text has ever been published, but if you search hard enough you might be able to find it. Working more on my own fiction at present, I haven't managed to plough through all the entries myself. Since then there have been many stage and film productions, none of which I know personally. But again, they are all listed if you google "Master and Margarita" plays, "Master and Margarita" films, etc. I wish you the best of luck. Let me know, as I'd certainly be interested. I see that you live in Oregon. I'm in Kingston, Ontario, and I could get down that way sometime. You'll find my own publications on Bulgakov on the second site listed below, on my recent novel on the first, and then all kinds of odd writings on the third! Yours sincerely, Colin acw@queensu.ca www.sardiniansilver.com, www.acolinwright.ca, www.authorsden.com/acolinwright