A Dog’s Heart
Translated by Antonina W. Bouis
When a stray dog dying on the streets of Moscow is taken in by a wealthy professor, he is subjected to medical experiments in which he receives various transplants of human organs. As he begins to transform into a rowdy, unkempt human by the name of Poligraf Poligrafovich Sharikov, his actions distress the professor and those surrounding him, although he finds himself accepted into the ranks of the Soviet state.
A parodic reworking of the Frankenstein myth and a vicious satire of the Communist revolution and the concept of the New Soviet man, A Dog’s Heart was banned by the censors in 1925 and circulated only in samizdat form. Nowadays this hugely entertaining tale has become very popular in Russia, and has inspired many adaptations across the world.
One of the great writers of the twentieth century.
This is a story which is full of metaphorical and ironic prose and is a mixture of the comical and the terrifying. It provides a chilling reminder that if you do monstrous things you are likely to create monsters. This underlying message remains as true today as it was back in the 1920s, and so feels both timely and contemporary.
Born in Kiev in 1891 to Russian parents, Mikhail Bulgakov trained as a doctor and volunteered for the Red Cross on the outbreak of the First World War. He later enlisted as a doctor for the anti-Bolshevik White Army, before eventually giving up medicine to concentrate on literature. The Master and Margarita is his most famous work, and has been hailed as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.