The great and greatly censored Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov wrote a letter to the Soviet government dated March 28, 1930. In it he expressed his frustration with how his work had been treated (it was routinely savaged by reviewers and the media and his plays were often in rehearsal for years or were accepted, but then never stage dby theater companies) and asked for employment at the Moscow Arts Theatre as an assistant director.

This was not his first communication with the government; however, this one led (a month later) to a phone call from Stalin in which the dictator told him to reapply to the Moscow Arts Theatre (where was accepted for a job he had previously been denied).

I won’t go through all the trials of Bulgakov’s life and literary career. But I do want to quote a line from his letter to the government (from Manuscripts Don’t Burn: Mikhail Bulgakov – A Life in Letters and Diaries by J.A.E. Curtis):

“Am I thinkable in the USSR?” Continue reading “Thinkable”