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Stalin’s Secret Police in Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita
‘Stalin’s Secret Police in Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita’
April 10, 2013: 5.15pm
Pigott Hall (Building 260), Room 216
Lecture in Russian
The lecture discusses a recurring motif in Bulgakov's novel that plays a crucial role in the author's entire oeuvre. The novel's "text-within-a-text" structure contrasts the secret police presence in ancient Yershalaim with that in the Moscow of the novel. Bulgakov’s grotesque depiction of Soviet State security reveals the writer's resolve to overcome fear of the ominous and omniscient political institution and to enable his reader to achieve this as well. The lecture examines the circumstances of Bulgakov's biography that determined his approach to this theme.
Professor IRINA BELOBROVTSEVA is a specialist in 20th century Russian literature. She graduated from Tartu University in Estonia, where her mentors were literary scholars Yury Lotman and Zara Mints. She has taught at Tallinn University since 1986, and has also lectured in England, Austria, Russia, Italy, Poland, Latvia, and other countries. She has published monographs on Soviet artists including Mikhail Bulgakov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Sergei Eisenstein, and Sergei Tretyakov, as well as numerous essays on 20th century Russian émigré literature and culture and Russian-Baltic cultural relations. She has co-edited several international scholarly collections, including a recent volume in the series Stanford Slavic Studies. One of her books on Bulgakov received a prestigious award from the Estonian Cultural Foundation.
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