A Young Doctor’s Notebook Mikhail Bulgakov
A Young Doctor’s Notebook
“If a man has never travelled in horse-drawn vehicles on remote country roads, there’s no point my telling him about it: he won’t understand anyway. And for anyone who has, I don’t even want to call it to mind. I’ll state briefly: it took me and my driver exactly twenty-four hours to travel the forty versts* that separate the small provincial town of Grachovka from the Muryino Hospital.* And the exactness was even something curious: at two o’clock in the afternoon of 16th September 1917 we were by the last grain-merchant’s warehouse on the boundary of that remarkable town of Grachovka, and at five past two on the 17th September of that same unforgettable year of 1917 I was standing on the trampled, dying grass, grown soft in the light September rain, of the Muryino Hospital yard. I stood there looking like this: my legs were ossified, and to such a degree that right there in the yard I was mentally leafing through the pages of textbooks, obtusely trying to remember whether there really did exist, or whether I had imagined it in my sleep in the village of Grabilovka the night before, an illness in which a man’s muscles become ossified.” (…)
Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov was a Russian writer, medical doctor and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, published posthumously, which has been called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.