Translating Bulgakov: New Perspectives on a Russian Master

Join us for a discussion of Bulgakov’s life featuring two renowned translators of his work; Hugh Aplin, translator of The Master and Margarita, and Roger Cockrell, translator of Bulgakov’s Diaries and Selected Letters. They will discuss the publishing history of Bulgakov’s work, the challenges of translating his unique prose and issues of freedom of expression in the context of these texts, focusing particularly on how censorship impacted on Bulgakov’s life and tracing the evidence of this impact in The Master and Margarita and in his Diaries and Letters.

Publisher Alessandro Gallenzi, who has published much of Bulgakov’s bibliography, will chair the discussion.

Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita is an essential work of twentieth-century Russian literature, and as such barely needs an introduction. Simultaneously a fable, a farce and a satire, it manages to create a wholly unique vision of a society in which conformity to political censorship has become second nature. Its surreal absurdity and satire have captivated readers for decades, and it remains profoundly relevant to this day. 

 

Hugh Aplin is Head of Russian at Westminster School, London and has translated a number of Russian classics including Chekhov's Three Years and Dostoyevsky's Double along with Bulgakov’s A Young Doctor’s Notebook and The Diaboliad and Other Stories.

Hugh Aplin is Head of Russian at Westminster School, London and has translated a number of Russian classics including Chekhov's Three Years and Dostoyevsky's Double along with Bulgakov’s A Young Doctor’s Notebook and The Diaboliad and Other Stories.

Roger Cockrell has translated numerous works by Mikhail Bulgakov, including Diaries and Selected Letters and Notes on a Cuff and Other Stories, as well as many other Russian works. He is currently Honorary Fellow in Russian at University of Exeter and is the author of several books on Russian literature. 

Roger Cockrell has translated numerous works by Mikhail Bulgakov, including Diaries and Selected Letters and Notes on a Cuff and Other Stories, as well as many other Russian works. He is currently Honorary Fellow in Russian at University of Exeter and is the author of several books on Russian literature. 

Alessandro Gallenzi is the founder of Hesperus Press, Alma Books and Alma Classics, and the successor of John Calder at the helm of Calder Publications. As well as being a literary publisher with twenty years of experience, he is also a translator, poet, playwright and novelist.

Alessandro Gallenzi is the founder of Hesperus Press, Alma Books and Alma Classics, and the successor of John Calder at the helm of Calder Publications. As well as being a literary publisher with twenty years of experience, he is also a translator, poet, playwright and novelist.