A Country Doctors Notebook by Mikhail BulgakovBrilliant stories that show the growth of a novelists mind, and the raw material that fed the wild surrealism of Bulgakovs later fiction.
With the ink still wet on his diploma, the twenty-five-year-old Dr. Mikhail Bulgakov was flung into the depths of freezing rural Russia which, in 1916-17, was still largely unaffected by such novelties as the motor car, the telephone or electric light. How his alter-ego copes (or fails to cope) with the new and often appalling responsibilities of a lone doctor in a vast country practice — on the eve of Revolution — is described in Bulgakovs delightful blend of candid realism and imaginative exuberance.
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The stories were written in the s and inspired by Bulgakov's experiences as a newly graduated young doctor in , practicing in a small village hospital in Smolensk Governorate in revolutionary Russia.
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Doris Lessing on Mikhail Bulgakov's gift for survival
It happens to us all. First day in the office, feeling isolated, and suddenly a crisis strikes. Somehow it is dealt with, a solution awkwardly put together, but it jangles the nerves.
Look Inside. Feb 05, ISBN In a year-old, newly qualified doctor named Mikhail Bulgakov was posted to the remote Russian countryside. He brought to his position a diploma and a complete lack of field experience. Bulgakov candidly speaks of his own feelings of inadequacy, and warmly and wittily conjures episodes such as peasants applying medicine to their outer clothing rather than their skin, and finding himself charged with delivering a baby—having only read about the procedure in text books. He graduated as a doctor but gave up the practice of medicine in to devote himself to literature. He went on to write some of the greatest novels in… More about Mikhail Bulgakov.
A freshly graduated doctor, the protagonist of A Country Doctor's Notebook arrives in a remote village with no electricity, a long day by coach from the nearest town. He has a well-equipped medical centre, a good library and competent assistants, but he carries immense responsibility as the only doctor. Many of the stories in the collection involve the protagonist facing a medical challenge of some kind. With no practical experience he faces up to this and usually succeeds without exposing his fears or uncertainties. Recurring themes include the severity of the cold and the blizzards, the isolation, and the backwardness of peasant attitudes to health and medical care.