“What would your good do if there was no evil, and what would the earth look like if the shadows disappeared from it? After all, the shadows are obtained from objects and people ... ".
"Among human vices, he considers cowardice to be one of the most important ..."
"Among human vices, he considers cowardice to be one of the most important ..."
15 May 1891 was born into the family of Associate Professor of the Kiev Theological Academy Afanasy Bulgakov, who was born the firstborn, who was named Mikhail. Afanasy Ivanovich, a former son of a priest, in addition to the obligatory ancient languages, knew English, French and German, read Slavic works in the original and in the end of his life received a doctorate in theology. His wife, Varvara Mikhailovna, was the daughter of the cathedral archpriest and had a cheerful and simple disposition. Children in their family appeared one after another - after Michael, the same days as Vera and Nadezhda were born, then Barbara, Nikolai, Ivan and Elena.
The eldest son of Bulgakov grew up to be an avid bookworm, and there were no restrictions on the literature of the children of the Master of Theology - the house had children's books, Russian classics, and foreign works, including the then most popular Ibsen, Wilde and Nietzsche. In 1900, the Bulgakovs bought a summer cottage in the village of Bucha, where children, with the permission of their parents, “got rid of themselves”. They ran barefoot through the nearest forest, boated on the Dnieper and played different games. Bulgakov, by the way, was a good athlete - he skated beautifully, was fond of tennis, croquet and football. One of the favorite entertainment of adults and children of those years was home performances. Michael in them, as a rule, was the director, and also shone in comic roles. In general, jokes and laughter were the hallmarks of the family. Varvara Mikhailovna, although she liked to laugh with the children, but forced them to work - the older children looked after the younger ones, the boys cleaned the garbage in the garden, uprooted trees with the father and cleared the paths, and the girls repaired the brothers' clothes.
At 1900, Mikhail was enrolled in the first Kiev gymnasium, and at 1907 a terrible misfortune happened to his family - 48-year-old Afanasy Ivanovich died from a kidney disease. There were seven children left on Varvara Mikhailovna, and at first, at a loss, she did not know what to do. Subsequently, the mother told children more than once: “I cannot give you capital or a dowry. However, I can give you an education - the only capital you will have. ” And she managed to learn all seven. At the same time, the older children, trying to help, were hired by tutors, and Michael during the summer holidays worked as a controller on the country trains. Some time later, when the Bulgakovs just started to come to their senses, Afanasy Ivanovich’s brother in Japan brought his two sons Kostya and Kohl to them. A year later, cousin Lilya Bulgakova arrived in Kiev from the Lublin province in Kiev. As a result, there were already ten children in the hands of Varvara Mikhailovna.
While studying at the gymnasium, Michael was fond of real adult theater and opera. In addition, he devoted a lot of time to the natural sciences - a microscope did not emerge from the future writer's life, the young man had marinated snakes, dissected beetles, collected a wonderful collection of butterflies. At 1909, Mikhail Afanasyevich graduated from high school and ended up in the medical faculty of Kiev University. The choice of profession was not accidental - there were doctors among his relatives and from the side of the father, and from the side of the mother. At home, a matured Michael, who in a youthful manner was ardently fascinated by the provisions of Darwin, stopped stepping into fasting — it seemed nonsense to the family of the late professor of theology.
At the same time, Mikhail Afanasyevich met Tatyana Lappa, a high school student, who had come to Sarah to visit her aunt (friends of Bulgakov’s mother). Her aunt and introduced the young man - they say, he will show you to Kiev. Young people really walked around the city a lot and every day they liked each other more and more. A year later, the schoolgirl returned to her aunt, and Varvara Mikhailovna, in order to avoid her son's daily trips from the cottage to Kiev and back, invited the girl to live in Bucha. And for the Christmas holidays 1911-1912, medical student Bulgakov himself went to Saratov. By the summer of 1912, Mikhail Afanasyevich, despite the protests of his mother, was determined to marry. In mid-August, Bulgakov brought the bride from Saratov, and soon Tatyana Lappa entered the women's courses in Kiev. One of Bulgakov’s sisters wrote down in her diary at that time: “How did they both fit each other in the careless nature?”. At the end of April 1913, a modest wedding took place - the bride who was not discouraged had no veil or wedding dress, only a silk blouse and linen skirt. Crowned, as expected, in the church, with images. Varvara Mikhailovna, who still considered the wedding “an insane step”, came down to the next day with a high temperature - experiences were reflected. The young people rented a separate room on Reitarskaya Street.
Mikhail Afanasyevich gave private lessons; some funds were sent from Saratov by his wife’s relatives. However, the money in the family did not stay as soon as they appeared, the young took a taxi and rushed to the theater. Therefore, it is not surprising that they regularly dined in the old apartment on Andriyivskyy Descent, where it was still noisy and fun. At Christmas 1913, the young wife left for her parents, and Mikhail Afanasyevich gave her the word that she would stop shaving. When Tatyana, who was delayed in Saratov, reappeared in Kiev, the husband grew a beard. This, by the way, happened for the first and last time in his life - the writer always preferred to remain a dandy.
The war broke out suddenly, finding the Bulgakovs in Saratov, where they left for the summer holidays. Returning to Kiev, Mikhail Afanasyevich went to study at the university, and Tatiana and her aunt got a job at the hospital. The distance from Kiev to the border was only 300 kilometers, and when 1915 approached the city in the fall of 1916, the future writer almost sent his spouse to Saratov by force. But two weeks later, she reappeared in Kiev. In April, XNUMX Mikhail Afanasyevich graduated from the university course and, having received the title of “doctor”, worked in the hospital, and then volunteered to the South-Western Front. At the end of the summer, Tatyana also left for her husband. Bulgakov met his wife in Orsha, on the way to Chernivtsi (now Chernivtsi), where the hospital was located, their car was stopped. Bulgakov was asked for a pass, which he did not have. Without thinking twice, Mikhail Afanasyevich handed the recipe, and the soldiers who did not know the letters, when they saw the seal, missed the car.
Since all the experienced zemstvo doctors were sent to field hospitals, they barely completed the course of young doctors were sent to their places. The queue reached Bulgakov - in September 1916 he ended up in Nikolskaya Zemsky Hospital, located in 40 kilometers from the town of Sychevka. Wife, of course, went with him. Mikhail Afanasyevich worked in the Zemstvo hospital for more than a year - the first cases from his practice were truthfully and in some places with already truly Bulgakov humor told in the Notes of the Young Doctor. Almost anecdotal moments, such as mustard plasters glued over the sheepskin coat or refined sugar, placed in the birth canal to lure the unwilling to go out into the white light of a baby, were side by side with the realistic work of the provincial doctor. The lyrical hero of the writer exclaimed: “What kind of wounds I sewed up, what kind of purulent pleurisy I observed, what kind of pneumonia, crayfish, typhoid, hernia, sarcoma, hemorrhoids ... I, as it turned out now, was happy then. Prompt, vinyuzhniy, unforgettable year ".
In Sychevka, Bulgakov became addicted to morphine - having made the first injection in the summer of 1917, in order to protect himself from allergies, which were an adverse reaction to anti-diphtheria serum, Mikhail Afanasyevich continued to prick. This dependence was aggravated in the Vyazma city local hospital where the writer was transferred to the turning point for the country of the year. At the same time, Tatyana Nikolayevna, who followed her husband, was forced, due to his morphinism, to have an abortion. The report on the course of the disease turned out to be subsequently recorded in the story “Khan's Fire”, written in 1924, whose lyrical hero read the diary of another doctor who had shot himself in despair. However, the writer himself managed to overcome drug addiction, completely rid of it by the spring of 1918. Never again did Bulgakov allow this devil into his blood.
In 1918, the couple returned to Kiev, where the hetman Skoropadsky, supported by the Germans, ruled. They settled in the old apartment of the Bulgakovs on Andrew’s Descent. In addition to them, a mother lived in the house, Varya’s sister with her husband, a career officer Leonid Karum, younger brothers Vanya and Kohl, as well as another cousin from Zhytomyr. However, they didn’t have the cooks, and the family members took turns preparing the food. With the support of his wife, Mikhail Afanasyevich became involved in private practice - in Vyazma and Sychevka he became a good specialist in venereal and skin diseases. When the Petliurists approached Kiev, the Germans, leaving the hetman to the mercy of fate, left the city. Previously, Skoropadsky banned the formation of Russian units, and the Germans requisitioned all weapon. Nevertheless, the remaining Russian officers tried to keep the city, but the forces were unequal. In December, 1918 Ukrainian nationalists occupied Kiev. Contemporaries recalled that in the first days after the invasion of the Petliurists many hospitals were being treated in the hospitals were killed, and all landfill sites were literally clogged with corpses, most of which were traces of monstrous torture. Among other things, the Petliurists burned the Bulgakovs' cottage in Bucha, making a fire right in the middle of the house. And when Mikhail Afanasyevich went, as required by the disposal of the new power, to the commandant's office to be noted, he was mobilized. He will write about it in 1926 in the story “I killed”: “This is a brilliant army leaving corpses on the street ... and I am in this company with a red cross on its sleeve ...”. When the opportunity presented itself the first night, Bulgakov fled. In Kiev, where power was constantly changing, Mikhail Afanasyevich "personally experienced ten coups."
In the autumn of 1919, Bulgakov joined the Armed Forces of the South of Russia, and with Denikinians as part of the Third Terek Cossack Regiment went to Vladikavkaz. Upon arrival there, he telegraphed his wife, and she again followed him. Soon the future writer was transferred to a field hospital near Grozny. Tatyana Nikolaevna recalled: “We reached the detachment through high maize on a carriage. I, the coachman, and Misha with a rifle on my knees — she was given with me, and she had to be ready all the time. ” On one of the autumn nights of 1919, in the light of a candle inserted into a kerosene bottle, Bulgakov wrote his first short story. From this feuilleton "The Future Perspectives", published in the newspaper "Grozny", Bulgakov later led the reading of his literary activity, although it is known that Mikhail Afanasyevich composed in the evenings after receiving patients in Sychevka and in Kiev.
In October, 1919 Bulgakov participated in battles with highlanders in the auls of Shali-aul and Chechen-aul. Then there was Beslan, where Mikhail Afanasyevich, along with his wife, lived in the train's wagon, doing operations there and treating the wounded. They, according to Tatiana Nikolaevna’s memories, ate some watermelons. On the same train, the Bulgakovs returned to Vladikavkaz. And at the very beginning of 1920, Mikhail Afanasyevich, who went to Pyatigorsk, caught up with typhoid fever. Tatyana Nikolaevna barely found the dying writer a doctor. While Bulgakov was lying with the temperature under forty, whites left Vladikavkaz, and in a “pause” between the red and white, the city was plundered by the Circassians. After his recovery, Bulgakov, who walked with a stick, said to his wife: "From now on, medicine is finished."
The Reds who occupied the city stubbornly searched for the White Guards in it, Tatyana Nikolayevna wrote: “I still don’t understand how Michael remained alive that year — they could identify him ten times!” In the spring of 1920, Bulgakov met writer Yury Slezkin, who promoted him to take over as head of the literary and then theatrical section in the Vladikavkaz Revolutionary Committee. The writer recalled that the theater gave him a salary of cucumbers and vegetable oil. They lived on the gold chain of Tatiana Nikolaevna, tearing off a piece from it and selling it. The first plays of Mikhail Afanasyevich were staged in the Vladikavkaz Theater, but as early as May the 1921 theater was closed.
From Vladikavkaz, Bulgakov went to Tiflis, where they spent a whole month with money raised from the sale of wedding rings. Sell wedding rings is considered a bad omen, but there was nothing to do - they had already eaten the golden chain. Then the couple were in Batumi. In August, 1921 Bulgakov sent Tatiana Nikolaevna to Moscow, saying at the end: "Wherever I am, I will call you, as always." To the grieved spouse it seemed that they would leave forever. According to her recollections, Mikhail Afanasyevich stayed in the city, hoping to get on some ship and leave Russia: “I negotiated with someone, I wanted him to be hidden in the hold”. However, the Jules-Vernov plans failed, and already in the month of September the writer, having no money and no belongings, walked more than two hundred kilometers from Voronezh along the tracks, reached Moscow. Laughing at friends and acquaintances, Bulgakov wrote a letter to Nadezhda Krupskaya, with whose assistance he magically obtained a room in a communal apartment in the house number 10 on Bolshaya Sadovaya.
For a long time, Mikhail Afanasyevich did not feel “solid ground under his feet” in the capital. He barely got the post of secretary of the Literary Department of the Main Political Politics, as Leto was liquidated. He wrote about this work: “In Leto, there were no tables, no chairs, no light bulbs, no ink, no readers, no writers, no books ... For hours I sat with a sad young lady. She's at the table, I'm at the desk. I read Dumas 'Three Musketeers', whom I found in the bathroom on the floor ... ”. After that, the writer went to the “Commercial and Industrial Bulletin” by the head of the chronicle department, but a month later this edition “passed away”. All March, Bulgakov worked as a reporter for the Worker newspaper, but did not work out here either. Mikhail Afanasyevich wrote to Kiev: "I can say briefly, here there is a fierce struggle for existence." And in early February, 1922 suddenly died from typhus by his mother Varvara Mikhailovna - news this shook Bulgakov. Only in April, the 1922 writer found a “stable” place - the newspaper Gudok.
By the will of fate, at that time Ilf worked with Petrov, Olesha, Kataev in the print edition of the railway workers - in other words, the whole color of the literature of that time. Mikhail Afanasyevich, 32, was almost ten years older than the rest and kept himself apart. The rest of hudkovtsy perceived him as an old man, noting “that even a carefully tied necktie and a dazzlingly fresh, plaster-solid collar that were inaccessible to them” isolated the writer from their blouse fraternity. In addition, Bulgakov kissed the ladies' hands, bowed ceremoniously, and, funny to say, could not sit in the tram if there was a woman standing next to him. Mikhail Afanasyevich preferred to speak “Ersami” - “as you like, with” or “kindly with”. The whole appearance and all the habits of this “railway” newspaperman immediately showed what he came out of on Wednesday.
For life, Bulgakov earned himself by writing poisonous feuilletons and signing them, like the young Chekhov, with funny pseudonyms, like the “Starchic dickey”. The master printed his satirical feuilletons not only on the pages of the “Rings”, but also of “Red Pepper” and “Crocodile”. He wrote them, by the way, "in one spirit": "The writing of the feuilleton took away from me, including whistling and smoking, eighteen to twenty minutes." Feuilletons of the new author attracted the attention of Muscovites, but over time, newspaper habits began to annoy Bulgakov. It seemed to the writer that his taste "fell sharply", that "more and more often in the writings began to slip worn comparisons and sample words." "His" Mikhail Afanasyevich worked at night. Since autumn 1921, he dictated his works to a typist for two or three hours in the evening. She said that the writer “didn’t improvise a lot”, “there weren’t any manuscripts as such”, there were only separate leaflets and notebooks.
Unfortunately, Bulgakov’s relationship with his wife after their arrival in Moscow became more and more cool. Their neighbor in the communal apartment recalled: “The tall and thin Tatyana Nikolayevna keeps so unobtrusively, so inconspicuously, she feels herself to be a stranger in her life.” The final point in their relationship was set in the spring of 1924. At the beginning of the year, in the evening of the meeting with the “Smenovekhovtsi” who had returned from Berlin, headed by Alexey Tolstoy, Mikhail Afanasyevich met the noblewoman, by origin, Belozerskaya. They got married in April 1925. Writer Yury Slezkin wrote that Lyubov Evgenievna was a very "practical woman" and "looked at all the men who could help build her future." After the second marriage, the life of Bulgakov did not change much - the couple met with friends, went to rest in the Crimea, went to the opera and to the dramatic performances. As before, Bulgakov continued to write at night. Lyubov Evgenievna, on equal footing with a friend, kept a horse on the racetrack and, as a jockey, took part in competitions. They did not have children, but cats, cats, and also the red dog named after the servant Moliere Buton constantly lived.
During the period from 1922 to 1926, Mikhail Afanasyevich wrote such well-known works such as “Devil's Eve”, “Dog's Heart”, “Fatal Eggs”, “Kabala the Holy”, “Alexander Pushkin” and a number of others. In 1923, the writer began work on the White Guard - a novel about a sister and brothers, about protecting the house and about honor, about war and waiting for peace. The work didn’t make an impression on the staff of the “Hooter” seeking the novelty of language and form, but Maximilian Voloshin, having presented the author with one of the watercolors, wrote on it: “The first person who captured the soul of Russian strife”. Literary critic Vincent Veresaev argued that "only Leo Tolstoy started so brilliantly with us." Indeed, the “White Guard” became a kind of “War and Peace” of the twentieth century and according to its text one can study the civil war in the south of the country.
The first and second parts of the novel were published in 1924. With difficulty, partially with promissory notes, having received money for the novel, Bulgakov ordered himself a day-out suit and a tuxedo. After a long and difficult search, he got a monocle. It was a hat-bowler-like "delights" in the capital is no longer allowed. Finally, one of the writer's friends, who had a Milan bowler hat with 1913, presented it to Mikhail Afanasyevich. At the same time, the writer "was delighted, like a child, and exclaimed everything:" From now on, I can impress! ".
The White Guard was dismantled at the Art Theater, and as a result, they decided to make a play based on the novel on a contemporary theme, which in those days was practically absent. The 1925 writer was invited to the Moscow Art Theater and told him about it. Bulgakov, who from childhood loved the theater and himself had long been carrying out the plot of the play, could not refuse. Thus was born the play, which (with a three-year break) took place on the Moscow scene from 1926 to 1941 over a thousand times. For the Art Theater “Days of the Turbins”, whose main director was Konstantin Stanislavsky, they became the second “Seagull”. The performance impressed spectators who had recently passed through the same difficulties as the heroes of the play. Often in the auditorium there were "fainting and hysteria", "people were taken away in an ambulance."
After the success of “Days of the Turbins”, the workers of the Vakhtangov Theater approached Bulgakov to write a comedy for them. The writer agreed and soon, looking through the newspaper column about the incidents in the city, he came across a note about how the Moscow police found a gambling hangout working under the guise of a sewing workshop. Contained a den of a certain Zoya Buyalskaya. So Bulgakov had the idea of an incredibly topical today play “Zoykin's apartment”, which premiered in the fall of 1926.
In 1928, Bulgakov wrote a new play called “Run,” which was based on the memories of white general Yakov Slaschov who had returned to Russia. The meticulous writer even drew a map, noting all the inhabited places where battles took place, and also depicting the movements of the White and Red armies. The details of life in emigration Mikhail Afanasyevich learned from the stories of his wife. The young actors of the Art Theater, on the basis of which the roles were written, liked the play. They began to rehearse, but here the play (in November, 1928), despite the protection of Maxim Gorky, imposed a ban. The reason was simple - there was no Red Army in the piece. According to Belozerskaya, Mikhail Afanasyevich loved this work, “as a mother loves her child” and “the blow was terrible when the“ Run ”was banned. Similarly, the deceased appeared in the house ... ".
In general, it is worth noting that after the release of the Days of the Turbins, all criticism took up arms against Mikhail Afanasyevich. Comrades in the literary workshop were not left aside. The play was interpreted as a White Guard sabotage, the production was discussed in disputes, and some said that "the Moscow Art Theater is a snake that the Soviet government had in vain warmed on its chest." The theater, of course, as best it could, was justified - they say, “from these positions, the Three Sisters should be studied as an army play”. Osaf Litovsky, who was the chairman of the General Repertoire Committee, dubbed Bulgakov’s play “The Cherry Orchard” of the White Guard, and Anatoly Lunacharsky, People's Commissar of Education, called the work “the semi-apology of the“ white movement. ” But rappovite Orlinsky, who made a name in persecution of the writer, was particularly rampant. In The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Afanasyevich brought all this pack to the court of the reader in the form of a critic of Latunsky.
The “Run” was just beginning to rehearse, and the burnt-off chain dogs of proletarian literature began to tear Bulgakov apart. In the magazines and newspapers of that time, articles were constantly published under the following headings: “We hit on Bulgakov’s region”, “Running must be suspended”, “Tarakany raid”. The pedantic author carefully cut out all the abusive speeches and pasted them into a special album that was swelling before our eyes - there were a total of about three hundred negative reviews and only three positive ones. By the way, Mikhail Afanasyevich, who initially held on stoically, then began to pass, became irritable, slept poorly, was afraid to remain alone, he had a nervous tic.
The upcoming 1929 turned out to be full of events for Bulgakov. Shortly after the ban of the play “Run”, in December 1928 at the Chamber Theater held the premiere of his “Crimson Island”. And at the end of February, Mikhail Afanasyevich met Elena Shilovskaya. It happened like this - the artists Moiseenko brothers organized pancakes at Maslenitsa, and among other guests, Bulgakov and Elena Sergeevna were invited there. Mikhail Afanasyevich did not want to go, just like Shilovskaya, however, at the last moment both changed their minds. At the table, they happened to be next to each other, Elena Sergeevna had some kind of strings on her sleeve, and she asked Bulgakov to tie them up ... Subsequently, Mikhail Afanasyevich argued, "that there was some kind of witchcraft here," and Elena Sergeevna, who, By the way, there was a husband and two children who tied him up. Shilovskaya herself said that from her side "it was a quick, extraordinarily fast love for life." They began to meet in secret — Elena Sergeevna even made friends with Bulgakov’s second wife in order to “penetrate” into their home.
At the same time, the resolution of the General Repertoire Committee on the removal of all the plays of Mikhail Afanasyevich from the repertoire was published. For a writer who had not been printed for a long time, it turned out to be a heavy blow. At one point, Mikhail Afanasyevich even decided to write a textbook for schoolchildren on stories. It was probably from complete despair. Not knowing which map to put on, the writer thought that after creating the textbook, they would think about him differently, and all the clouds would finally dissipate. ” However, the strongest headaches that had opened up put an end to this work.
Deprived of the last thing that remained with him, Bulgakov continued to work on the play “Kabala the Holy One”, later renamed “Moliere”. But this play, which was adopted for staging at the Moscow Art Theater, was denied by the Central Repertoire Committee in March to 1930. After that, Mikhail Afanasyevich wrote a letter to the USSR Government (among the recipients, besides Stalin, Kalinin, Kaganovich, Molotov and Yagoda were indicated) with a request to either provide an opportunity to work in the Art Theater as a laboratory assistant director, or “urgently order to leave the country”. Three weeks after that, Bulgakov was called by Joseph Vissarionovich. At first, Mikhail Afanasyevich thought it was a joke, but he was mistaken. Such a conversation took place: “We received your letter. Read with friends. You will have a favorable answer on it ... Or maybe the truth is to let you go abroad? We are very tired of you? ”-“ Recently, I have been thinking a lot about whether a Russian writer can exist outside the homeland. It seems to me, can not. " - "I think so too". Half an hour after the conversation, the writer received a call from the Art Theater and was invited to work. And some time later (in February, 1932), the play “Days of the Turbins” was returned to the repertoire of the Moscow Art Theater. In general, there are documented evidence that Stalin loved Mikhail Afanasyevich, considering him one of the best playwrights and writers of the era. For example, Joseph Vissarionovich more than fifteen times watched the “Days of the Turbins”, saying: “This is Bulgakov! Nice takes! Takes against wool! I like it". According to contemporaries, those who wrote in the spirit of politically correct social realism, the leader valued with his mind, and Bulgakov with his heart.
Meanwhile, the novel of the writer with Elena Shilovskaya continued. At the beginning of 1931, her husband Evgeny Shilovsky visited her wife's relationship with Bulgakov. According to an eyewitness, he "resorted to Bolshaya Pirogovskaya, where Bulgakov and Belozerskaya lived, and threatened the writer with a pistol." Stating that in the event of a divorce, he would not give up the children, Shilovsky thus forced the spouse to break up with Mikhail Afanasyevich for a while. For almost two years they have not seen each other, she did not answer his calls, did not accept letters, one did not go out into the street, however, when she did come out, she first saw Bulgakov, who said: "I cannot live without you." In spite of everything they decided to unite, the marriage was registered in October 1932, the children of the Shilovskys were divided - the eldest stayed with the father, and the younger with the mother.
His main novel, which had more than a dozen variants of names and many editions, Bulgakov conceived in 1928 and worked on it until the end of his life. Write in atheistic Russia a work about Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Notsri, about Satan and his charming retinue, ordering Moscow in the thirties, about love persecuted by critics of the Master, about Margarita, who has become a witch from distress and grief, and hope that it will be printed was pure madness. The same as writing in the country where the Red Army won, the work about the White Guard and believe that it will be published ... But they printed it! This was a miracle, an even greater miracle was the production of "Days of the Turbins" in the best theater of the country.
The first version of the "novel about the devil" was burned by the author in 1930. Subsequently, Mikhail Afanasyevich had to constantly break away from writing a work in order to get his daily bread in the theater. In 1936, after a critical article in the Pravda newspaper, Bulgakov's Moliere performance, shown seven times with a full house, was removed from the stage. Bulgakov left the Moscow Art Theater and became a librettist in the Bolshoi Theater. The third edition of the novel, which had the name “Prince of Darkness” in 1936, a year later it acquired the final version - “Master and Margarita”. The work was written in between the composition of the play about Pushkin and the libretto of the opera Peter the Great. In May-June, the 1938 manuscript was reprinted on a typewriter, however, editing of the finished novel (discrepancies in publications appeared due to the loss of one of the last notebooks) lasted until the last day of the writer's life.
In 1939, Mikhail Afanasyevich, a wonderful story-teller, who played hilarious improvisation scenes in front of his comrades, mentioned the fact that he was living last year. And it was filed as a humorous reprise, and was also perceived by everyone, including his wife. However, in September, there was no time for jokes - Mikhail Afanasyevich, who was vacationing in Leningrad, suddenly had poor eyesight, and the doctors made a terrible diagnosis of his father - nephrosclerosis. The writer immediately returned to the capital, where the diagnosis was confirmed by a consilium of the stars of science. One of the doctors told the patient that he had no more than three days to live. The doctor was wrong, Mikhail Afanasyevich lived for another six months, but the terrible news crippled him. As a physician, he knew how the disease developed and found one symptom after another. At the beginning of the disease, Bulgakov, according to his friend, screenwriter Sergey Yermolinsky, “got younger”, but the farther it got, the harder it became ... By the middle of February, 1940 had become blind, emaciated, and Bulgakov could not get out of bed, dictating to his wife the last phrases of the “Master and Margarita. Soon after, Mikhail Afanasyevich lost his speech, connectedly speaking only the beginnings or the ends of words. 10 March 1940 writer, after terrible agony, died at the hands of Elena Sergeevna. His body was cremated.
Elena Sergeevna gave the spouse an oath that will surely print "The Master and Margarita." When Mikhail Afanasyevich died, the Second World War had already begun, and then the terrible 1941 year began. In the conflagration of the war, not only paper manuscripts died, but entire villages and cities. Going to the evacuation, Elena Sergeevna, fearing for the fate of the work, handed over the manuscript to the Lenin Library for safekeeping. Despite the fact that Moscow was bombed, the manuscript, fortunately, survived. After the end of the war, the widow of Bulgakov again undertook a titanic attempt to publish “The Masters and Margarita” and only the sixth of them was crowned with success - the novel appeared in the notes in the magazine “Moscow” in 1966-1967. However, in this form, the work created a furor, similar to the fact that, a century earlier, after burning, the second volume of Dead Souls resurrected. Everybody got infected with romance - from intellectual to proletarian, from young to old.
But for twelve years at the grave of the author himself there was neither a stone, nor a slab, nor a cross. In 1952, Elena Sergeevna saw a huge black boulder in a deep hole in the cemetery. Local granilators told her that this stone called “Golgotha” had previously stood at the tomb of Nikolai Gogol in the Danilov Monastery. Elena Sergeevna bought a stone, and it was installed on the grave of Mikhail Afanasyevich. It is curious that the great writer of the twentieth century once wrote, addressing his classic countryman: "Teacher, cover me with your cast-iron overcoat."
Based on materials from the sites http://www.bulgakov.ru/ and http://to-name.ru/biography