A dog's heart: a monstrous story

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Hesperus, 2005 - Fiction - 130 pages
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Mikhail Bulgakov's A Dog's Heart is an inspired satire on the Russian Revolution and on Soviet society. Through his surreal, often grotesque humour, Bulgakov creates an ingenious new twist to the `Frankenstein' parable. Having been scalded by boiling water earlier that day, and with little chance to survive the severe winter night, a stray dog is left for dead on the streets. Lamenting his fate, he is ill prepared for the chance arrival of a wealthy professor who befriends him and takes him home. However, it seems the professor's motives are not entirely altruistic - an expert in medical experimentation, he sees his new charge as the potential subject for a bizarre operation, and implants glands from a dead criminal in the dog. The resulting half-man, half-beast is, as to be expected, a monstrosity, yet one that fits in remarkably well with Soviet society...

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About the author (2005)

Mikhail Afanasevich Bulgakov was a Russian playwright, novelist, and short-story writer best known for his use of humor and satire. He was born in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 15, 1891, and graduated from the Medical School of Kiev University in 1916. He served as a field doctor during World War I. Bulgakov's association with the Moscow Art Theater began in 1926 with the production of his play The Days of the Turbins, which was based on his novel The White Guard. His work was popular, but since it ridiculed the Soviet establishment, was frequently censored. His satiric novel The Heart of a Dog was not published openly in the U.S.S.R. until 1987. Bulgakov's plays including Pushkin and Moliere dealt with artistic freedom. His last novel, The Master and Margarita, was not published until 1966-67 and in censored form. Bulgakov died in Moscow on March 10, 1940.

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