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.
A Young Doctor's Notebook: Love, Lust and Morphine
A Young Doctor's Notebook
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L ike Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov was a doctor before he was a writer. He started writing at 29, and before then got to know plenty about the absurdity and intensity of medical practice. He had met a lot of people, and sawn off some of their legs. After graduating from medical school in , Bulgakov was sent to run a hospital in the remote Smolensk province, where his patients lived a brutal, essentially medieval existence. His young doctor discovers that childbirth and tracheotomies go much faster, and get a lot messier, than the medical textbooks had led him to believe. In a story published separately, Morphine, Bulgakov also wrote about a doctor who makes the mistake of getting high on his own supply. Again, this was based on personal experience: Bulgakov had injected himself with morphine after sucking the diphtheria from a child's throat; he prescribed himself an anti-diphtheritic serum, which was agonising, and then morphine to counteract the pain.
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A Young Doctor's Notebook & Other Stories Trailer
Part autobiography, part fiction, this early work by the author of The Master and Margarita shows a master at the dawn of his craft, and a nation divided by centuries of unequal progress. 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 died in Moscow of kidney disease in One begins to see that he became a novelist not because he had material but because he was storing up passion and temperament.
In his semi-fictionalised account, A Country Doctor's Notebook , the young medic spends the journey to the remote hospital on rutted tracks, worrying about how he will cope with tracheotomies and obstructed labour he has seen only two normal deliveries at medical school , fretting over his youthful appearance, and urging himself to walk, not run. He doesn't have to wait long before a cart rumbles into the hospital yard carrying a young woman with a leg smashed in a flax brake, her pulse barely palpable. Die quickly,' I said to myself. Otherwise what am I to do with you? His own adrenaline as potent as the camphor injections given to revive the patient, he saves her by removing the leg.