Our Notes & References
First separate edition in Russian of Bulgakov’s suppressed satirical masterpiece, originally written in 1925, three years after the creation of the USSR and just a year after Lenin’s death. Unpublishable in Sobviet Union until 1987, the text had only been printed in Russian in clandestine ‘samizdat’ editions, and in two European magazines in 1968, the Frankfurt journal ‘Grani’, and Flegon’s London journal ‘Student’.
This uncommon edition begins with a short biographical introduction, and its famous wrappers with a crossed-out heart design to the front cover were designed by Iurii Annenkov (1889-1974), a great, polyvalent Russian artist, much active in avant-gardist movements in Russia and then France after his emigration in 1921. The 1971 second YMCA edition had wrappers repeating the crossing but without the striking red touch of the heart.