Mikhail Bulgakov the heart of a dog and other stories


Commentaries to NOTES OFF THE CUFF



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Commentaries to NOTES OFF THE CUFF:

1. Melnikov P. I. (the pseudonym of Andrei Pechersky, 1818-1883), a Russian writer and the author of In the Forests and In the Hills, novels about Old Believers.

2. "Peter in a green caftan..." A reference to the Russian tsar Peter the Great who founded the Russian navy and used to build ships with his own hands.

3. "Black, white, slender, Vasnetsovian..." Victor Vasnetsov (1848-1926), a Russian artist who painted legendary subjects and also decorated the Cathedral of St. Vladimir in Kiev.

4. "The novelist Yuri Slyozkin..." The writer Yu. L. Slyozkin (1885-1947), author of the novels Table Mountain

(The Girl from the Mountain), Abdication and others, which portray the events of the pre-revolutionary period and the years just after the Revolution.

5. "I face the future without fear..." A quotation from Alexander Pushkin's poem "Stanzas", which prompted certain circles of Russian society to talk about the poet's abandonment of his ideals. These accusations, which were disproved by Pushkin's life and writings, were repeated by primitive critics in the early Soviet period.

6. "...his Gentleman-of-the-Bedchamberism..." In 1834 Pushkin was appointed a Gentleman-of-the-Bedchamber (the lowest court rank in Imperial Russia). The poet was insulted and deeply angered by this unexpected "favour" from the Tsar.

7. A quotation from Pushkin's poem "A Bacchanal Song".

8. "Indifferent alike to praise or blame..." A quotation from "A monument I've raised not built with hands..."

9. Yevreinov N. N. (1879-1953), a director and playwright.

10. "Brother writers, your vocation..." A line from Nekrasov's poem "In the Hospital" which continues as follows: "holds the threat of doom..."

11. "Yesterday Riurik Ivnev appeared..." The pseudonym of Mikhail Alexandrovich Kovalyov (1891-1981), a poet who belonged to the group of Imagists during the period in question.

12. "The third was Osip Mandelstam." Osip Emilievich Mandelstam (1891-1938), an Acmeist poet.

13. "The novelist Pilnyak..." The pseudonym of Boris Andreyevich Vogau (1894-1941), the author of the novels The Naked Year, The Volga Flows into the Caspian Sea and Okay, as well as several collections of short stories.

14. "Serafimovich arrived from up north." Alexander Serafimovich Serafimovich (Popov) (1863-1949), the author of the well-known novel The Iron Flood about the Civil War.

15. Nozdryov — a satirical character from Nikolai Gogol's novel Dead Souls.

16. A quotation from Pushkin's poem The Poor Knight.

17. "Or perhaps it's Bryusov and Bely?" Valery Yakovlevich Bryusov (1873-1924), poet, novelist and critic, the founder of Russian Symbolism. Andrei Bely (the pseudonym of Boris Nikolayevich Bugayev) (1880-1934), poet and novelist, a leading representative of Russian Symbolism.

18. "The meat pie in the Truba..." Trubnaya Square in Moscow, where there was a market.

19. "Kanatchikov dacha!" A clinic for the mentally ill.

20. A quotation from Gogol's story The Nose.

21. "...Nekrasov, the Resurrected Alcoholic, the Hunger miscellanies..." A reference to a book of verse by Nikolai Nekrasov (1821-1878), which was about to be published, a play called The Resurrected Alcoholic by an amateur playwright, and also various collections by Russian and Soviet writers, the proceeds from which had been donated to famine relief.






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