Attending a very conservation school in northcentral Indiana during the cold war may be the reason I had not heard of Mikhail Bulgakov. He was recently brought to my attention by a man who had come to audition for (and got) the part of Ivan Bulgakov in Restless Shores.
When I ask Greg Tulonen, our writer, he told that that he had indeed used the name Bulgakov as a tip of the hat to Mikhail Bulgakov.
He is worth more than a hat tip. He was a remarkable man.
Born in1891 Russia, he witnessed the Russian revolution and lived under Stalin.
Mr. Bulgakov was a writer of novels and plays as well as a practicing physician. He is best known for his writing. He skillfully incorporated satire and fantastic elements into his written works. While Stalin was a fan of some of Mr. Bulgakov’s creations and protected him because of it, it didn’t keep Stalin from personally banning some of his books.
Over time it became increasing difficult for him to publish and many of his works found their way to his killed play storage file. In time, censorship by the Russian government all but ended his career. It was in the last years of his life that he created The Master and Margarita, what has been called one of the 20th Century’s masterpieces. An unredacted copy was published by his widow nearly 26 years after his death.
If, like me, your education has been somewhat slighted, I recommend that you pick up a copy of any of Mr. Bulgakov’s works. I have and I joyfully discovered why others consider The Master and Margarita a masterpiece. On July 5, in Episode 25, you can hear Anton Antolinski perform the part of Ivan Bulgakov and when you listen, keep in mind our small tip of the hat to someone extraordinary. I’m glad Anton drew my attention to Mikhail Bulgakov.