A new English translation of Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Fatal Eggs"
April 8, 2010 2:00 PM   Subscribe

A new English translation of Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Fatal Eggs"
The Fatal Eggs is the first of Mikhail Bulgakov's works of social science fiction. Inspired by H. G. Wells, it relates the story of a brilliant and eccentric zoologist who, in the years following the Soviet revolution, discovers a ray that can accelerate the reproduction and growth of living organisms. The authorities expropriate his invention for their own use, a horrible mix-up occurs, and you can probably guess the rest.

The Fatal Eggs is a short novel, and, as one of Bulgakov's earlier efforts, it is arguably less developed than some of his better known titles. Ironically, it is also the only one of his major works that appeared in print in its entirety during the author's lifetime. The Fatal Eggs helped draw the attention of the authorities to Bulgakov's "anti-Soviet" and "counterrevolutionary" writing; his career would eventually be ruined by censors and critics, and his greatest works would not be published until long after his death. Although today the plot may seem somewhat familiar and predictable, The Fatal Eggs is interesting as one of the very few examples of early Soviet science fiction that do not champion Soviet ideology (in fact, it is a biting satire on the revolution and Soviet lifestyle). The novel is a great introduction to Bulgakov and will also please existing Bulgakov fans.

The translation includes some annotations and an afterword, and is currently available in print and on the Kindle -- ePub version is coming soon.
posted by Behemoth (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I read this in 2008 (the Aplin translation). It'll be interesting to see your take on things.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:21 PM on April 19, 2010

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