Friday, October 3, 2008

Нехорошая квартира (Not-good Apartment)

No. 302 B on Sadovaya Street is (in)famous, at least as far as apartments go. On his last widely publicized visit to Moscow, the Devil a.k.a. Professor Woland stayed with his retinue in this very same apartment. As this was during Soviet times, apartments, particularly in the city center of Moscow, were hard to come by and the devilish group had to decapitate one man and magic another away to Yalta in order to be able to lay claim to this place. Oh what deliciously evil, majestically comical events took place here! In addition to Woland (who, according to all the atheist authorities, could not possibly exist), a thin man in a prince-nez, another sporting fangs, and a decidedly cat-like man (or was it a man-like cat) romped around the place, startling passers-by and terrorizing visitors of the official kind. They held a grand ball of the most famous damned in history, shot at cards while looking away, drank vodka in copious quantities, committed arson and partook in much other revelry. It is in this same apartment and through the help of these same characters that the gorgeous Margarita was reunited with her clinically insane and self-deprecating lover (who, fondly named “The Master,” plays the role of a societally shunned author in a book that was certain to never be published during the period in which it was written). All in all, the apartment in question has been the site for a lot, literally and literarily.

Luckily for Bulgakov fan(atic)s, one of the main locations in his most famous novel is the same place he himself used to live in- that is, a real place that exists outside of fiction. No.302 B on Sadovaya, christened the ‘not-good apartment’ by the author, is now a Bulgakov museum, open to all enthusiasts, the mildly curious and everyone else in between (and entrance is free!). The modern tourist can see the same rooms that the historical Bulgakov and the fictional Woland and his posse lived in, filled with the paraphrenalia of the writer’s life and pictures and paintings depicting scenes from the novel. For the truly enthusiastic fans, there are even midnight tours of Moscow city a la Master and Margarita, including a walk near the ponds where Muscovites had their first conversation with the devil, not far from the street where the tram-car decapitated the unfortunate non-believer, Berlioz. Unfortunately, unlike the novel, this tour does not include visits to locations in Jerusalem, despite the fact that it costs approximately $40 per person. For that, read the novel- at the very least, its much more economical!


Avec Maître said...

So, who's writing all these stuff for you? B-)

Tista said...

my neighbor has a monkey in a room. with a typewriter.

I've outsourced my blog to the enterprising duo.

Avec Maître said...

Hmmmmmm, the monkey seems to be a lot smarter than you (as expected). :-)

Nixie said...

Beautifully written:)
I like your blog:)

teoffy said...

oh, and this famous novel i've read=) not once=))
and I've heard about these midnight tours though never tried to go into them. maybe later some day)