A Dog’s Heart by Mikhail Bulgakov - finished 1926 but not published until 1966- translated from the Russian by Antonina W. Bouis, 2011
May 15, 1891 Kyiv, Ukraine
March 10, 1940 - Moscow
In May I read The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
(In the translation by Richard Pevear and Lariosa Volohonsky). I was just mesmerized by this work. I knew I wanted to read more of his fiction. I decided to start my read through of his work with his first novel White Guard. Black Swan, my third of his novels is set largely in The famous Moscow Art Theater. The theater was founded in 1898 by The highly influential Konstantia Stanislavski, whose acting philosophy greatly influenced American cinema and theater.
The Fatal Eggs was my fourth work by Bulgakov.
A Dog’s Heart (sometimes translated as “The Dog’s Heart”), a novella, is considered to be a satire of early Soviet society. Evidently Bulgahov felt it safest not to publish it.
A well known scientist attempts to transform a dog, picked up from the streets near starvation, into a human by transplanting into him a human heart, testicles and a pituitary gland. The dog begins to speak, to walk upright.
The point of view switches from the that of the dog to the scientist. His combination office home occupied seven rooms. According to the local Soviet Housing Committee he is entitled to only three rooms. Watching him make short work of them was great fun.
The dog makes savage comments about people and society. He is perpetually hungry.
All sorts of crazy things happen.
I found this work a lot of fun to read. No doubt published in 1926 it would have gotten Bulgakov in serious trouble.
I believe I have now read all his translated longer fiction. There are three anthologies of short stories I hope to read through within a year.