In this collection of short stories, drawing heavily from the author's own experiences as a medical graduate on the eve of the Russian Revolution, Bulgakov describes a young doctor's turbulent and often brutal introduction to his practice in the backward village of Muryovo. Using a sharply realistic and humorous style, Bulgakov reveals his doubts about his own competence and the immense burden of responsibility, as he deals with a superstitious and poorly educated people struggling to enter the modern age. This acclaimed collection contains some of Bulgakov's most personal and insightful observations on youth, isolation and progress.
Brilliant stories that show the growth of a novelist's mind, and the raw material that fed the wild surrealism of Bulgakov's later fiction.With the ink still wet on his diploma, the twenty-five-year-old Dr. Mikhail Bulgakov was flung into the depths of rural Russia which, in 1916-17, was still largely unaffected by such novelties as the motor car, the telephone or electric light. How his alter-ego copes (or fails to cope) with the new and often appalling responsibilities of a lone doctor in a vast country practice — on the eve of Revolution — is described in Bulgakov's delightful blend of candid realism and imaginative exuberance.
Drawing closely on Bulgakov's personal experiences of the horrors of civil war as a young doctor, "The White Guard" takes place in Kiev, 1918, a time of turmoil and suffocating uncertainty as the Bolsheviks, Socialists and Germans fight for control of the city. It tells the story of the Turbins, a once-wealthy Russian family, as they are forced to come to terms with revolution and a new regime.