УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2023 №28

Author: Petr A. Druzhinin
About the author:

Petr A. Druzhinin — PhD in History, Senior researcher, V.V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Volkhonka St., 12, 119019 Moscow, Russia.


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The article describes the recently discovered Mikhail Bulgakov’s inscription and debates with the researchers who tend to interpret the inscription as the writer’s genuine manuscript marked with the syntactic and lexical features characteristic of his style. The alleged autograph presents an inscription addressed to the writer Vikenty Veresaev on the Mikhail Meisel’s book “A Brief Outline of Modern Russian Literature” (1931). Offering his own point of view on the inscription, the author compares the text of the manuscript with the true facts of Vladimir Meisel’s biography, who is presented in this inscription in the image of a filibuster. The article analyzes the legitimacy of the use of maritime vocabulary, gives examples of its use in the novel The Master and Margarita, thus proving that there is no reason to associate Mikhail Maisel with the image of the filibuster. The study of Mikhail Bulgakov’s epistolary suggests that we are dealing with the processing of Bulgakov’s letter, in which the image of Vsevolod Vishnevsky is drawn using maritime vocabulary. The latter seems logical being confirmed by the facts of Vishnevsky’s biography. Since the vocabulary refers to a completely different person and has Bulgakov’s original manuscript as its source, it can be concluded that the newly found autograph is a literary hoax created using the original texts of Mikhail Bulgakov. This particular example demonstrates the effectiveness of philological methods for recognizing falsified manuscripts of the classics of Russian literature — a problem of textual criticism which remains salient.

Keywords: author’s language, textual criticism, Mikhail Bulgakov, manuscript, signature, literary hoax, mystification, forgery.
For citation:

Druzhinin, P.A. “Filibusters and Mikhail Bulgakov’s Handwritten Legacy.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (28), 2023, pp. 171–193. (In Russ.)


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