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Bulgakov, Mikhail Afanasyevich

Born: 1891 AD
Died: 1940 AD
Nationality: Russian
Categories: Dramatist, Novelists, Satirists

1891 – Mikhail Bulgakov was born to Russian parents in Kiev, Ukraine on May 15, 1891.

1913 – Bulgakov married Tatiana Lappa. At the outbreak of the First World War he volunteered with the Red Cross.

1916 – Bulgakov graduated from the Medical School of Kiev University and then served in the White Army. He was briefly forcibly mobilized by the Ukrainian Nationalist Army.

1919 – Bulgakov decided to leave medicine to pursue his love of literature.

1921 – Bulgakov moved with Tatiana to Moscow where he began his career as a writer.

1924 – Bulgakov divorced Tatiana and he married Lyubov’ Belozerskaya.

1927 – Bulgakov’s career began to suffer from criticism that he was too anti-Soviet.

1929 – Bulgakov’s career was ruined and none of his works were published due to censorship.

1930 – Bulgakov wrote a letter to Stalin requesting permission to emigrate if the Soviet Union could not find use for him as a satirist and received a personal phone call from Stalin himself, denying him that. Stalin had enjoyed Bulgakov’s work, The Days of the Turbins and found work for him at a small Moscow theatre, and then the Moscow Art Theatre. In his autobiography and in many biographies, it is stated that Bulgakov wrote the letter out of desperation and mental anguish, never actually intending to post it. The refusal of the authorities to let him work in the theatre and his desire to see his family living abroad, whom he had not seen for many years, led him to seek drastic measures. Despite his new work, the projects he worked on at the theatre were unsuccessful and he was stressed and unhappy. He also worked briefly at the Bolshoi Theatre as a librettist, but left after his works were not produced.

1931 – Bulgakov married for the third time, to Yelena Shilovskaya, who would prove to be inspiration for the character Margarita from his most famous novel, and settled with her at Patriarch’s Ponds. During the last decade of his life, Bulgakov continued to work on The Master and Margarita, wrote plays, critical works, stories, and made several translations and dramatisations of novels, but these were unpublished.

1940 – Bulgakov died from an inherited kidney disorder on March 10, 1940 and was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.