Mikhail Bulgakov The White Guard

ISBN 13: 9780413462206

The White Guard

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9780413462206: The White Guard

"White Guard," Mikhail Bulgakov's semi-autobiographical first novel, is the story of the Turbin family in Kiev in 1918. Alexei, Elena, and Nikolka Turbin have just lost their mother--their father had died years before--and find themselves plunged into the chaotic civil war that erupted in the Ukraine in the wake of the Russian Revolution. In the context of this family's personal loss and the social turmoil surrounding them, Bulgakov creates a brilliant picture of the existential crises brought about by the revolution and the loss of social, moral, and political certainties. He confronts the reader with the bewildering cruelty that ripped Russian life apart at the beginning of the last century as well as with the extraordinary ways in which the Turbins preserved their humanity. In this volume Marian Schwartz, a leading translator, offers the first complete and accurate translation of the definitive original text of Bulgakov's novel. She includes the famous dream sequence, omitted in previous translations, and beautifully solves the stylistic issues raised by Bulgakov's ornamental prose. Readers with an interest in Russian literature, culture, or history will welcome this superb translation of Bulgakov's important early work. This edition also contains an informative historical essay by Evgeny Dobrenko.

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Review:

The White Guard is less famous than Mikhail Bulgakov's comic hit, The Master and Margarita, but it is a lovely book, though completely different in tone. It is set in Kiev during the Russian revolution and tells a story about the war's effect on a middle-class family (not workers). The story was not politically correct and thereby contributed to Bulgakov's lifelong troubles with the Soviet authorities. It was, however, well-loved, and the novel was turned into a successful play at the time of its publication in 1967.

About the Author:

MIKHAIL BULGAKOV was born in Kiev on May 15th 1891. He graduated as a doctor but gave up the practice of medicine in 1920 to devote himself to literature. He went on to write some of the greatest novels in twentieth century Russian literature, including The White GuardHeart of a Dog, and his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. He died in Moscow of kidney disease in 1940.

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