As Novye Izvestiya has already reported, a few weeks ago in Kyiv, a memorial plaque in honor of Bulgakov, who studied there, was removed from the building of the former First Kiev Gymnasium (now one of the university buildings of the Shevchenko National University of Ukraine).
And here is the new news: the Union of Writers of Ukraine demanded to close the Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, located in Kiev, on Andreevsky Descent, in the house where the Bulgakov family lived in 1906-1919. The writers propose to transfer the exhibits of the museum for storage to the National Museum of Literature, and open another museum at this place - the Ukrainian composer Alexander Koshyts, who lived in this house until 1906.
The writers claim that Bulgakov "had a fierce hatred of Ukraine and its independence, and also denigrated it as best he could in his works." His books are called "dangerous" in a statement and glorify "not only tsarism and monarchy, but also the inhuman cruelty that is inherent in Russians and is the main feature of the Russian nation."
To prove this thesis, the statement cites a fragment from the novel The White Guard, where one of the characters scolds Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky, who led Ukraine in 1918:
“I would be the first to hang your hetman for the organization of this small Ukraine! .. Who forbade the formation of the Russian army? Hetman. Who terrorized the Russian population with this vile language, which does not even exist in the world? Hetman. Who spread all this scum with tails on their heads? Hetman..."
In Russia, this news was received with quite expected condemnation. Those Russians who managed to visit this museum are delighted with it and horrified at the prospect of its closure. For example, Vasily Yakemenko writes:
I was in Kyiv many times with students and tried to break into this museum at any cost. In recent years, before the start of obscurantism, you had to sign up for a visit in advance, from Moscow, otherwise it was impossible to get in.
“In this house, Bulgakov spent his youth, here, on the second floor, he settled the heroes of the White Guard, Days of the Turbins.
The museum was the Kyiv analogue of Bulgakov's Moscow apartment number 50, only in Moscow it was "Master", and in Kyiv "Days of the Turbins".
The concept of the museum was very interesting. Almost no authentic things have been preserved, but they were especially distinguished - a white living room, a white table, white chairs around and only one black one. Real. The rest seem to be non-existent. A real portrait of the father and a white, as if absent, frame.
Moving through the museum, one could pass through the wall, notice a hiding place outside the window, where Nikolka hid weapons in case of a search - Aleshin Browning and Knight Colts. And in the mirror hanging in the corner of the dining room, when the lights go out, one can see Turbin's painful delirium: a dancing table, a snow blizzard of the eighteenth year, and then the shining stars overhead replacing all.
Who did not read "Turbins" and "White Guard", after the museum rushed to read, who read - once in Kyiv, rushed to Andreevsky Descent.
It was not allowed to say “read, but was not”, because the atmosphere was amazingly recreated. And the tour guides were amazing. I, as an experienced guide and therefore extremely sour about the class of guides, were always ready to take off my hat (if I wore it) in front of these.”
The positions of the Ukrainian society itself according to Bulgakov, as can be seen from social networks, are extremely opposite. Some advocate the "cancellation" of the cult writer, others argue that now is not the time to persecute Bulgakov and should not be like balls. It is no secret that for many people in the post-Soviet space, Bulgakov's works have been known since childhood and have become part of mass culture.
The situation in the Russian public space is basically unambiguous: it is impossible to cancel Bulgakov!
- Mikhail Afanasyevich will not lose any more, as well as the entire world and domestic culture, but this will cause damage to Ukrainian, yes, compatible with life, but significant damage, which will be realized later.
- Nothing will happen to Bulgakov or culture. They survived the revolution, and wars, and Proletkult, and Hitler and Stalin, so the secretariat of the Union of Ukrainian Writers will certainly survive somehow. Of course, it’s a pity that the house-museum is closing, but if we have never been there, then we can do without.
- It's a shame that the Ukrainians are fighting purely Russian methods. The Union of Writers makes a posthumous biography of Bulgakov.
- I believe that now many decisions in the field of culture in Ukraine are made on emotions. Bulgakov and Gogol are connected with Ukraine both culturally and ethnically. To refuse them is an excess .
However, even against the background of such unanimity, other opinions are expressed:
- But Bulgakov really was an enemy of any Ukrainian "independence". He even preferred the Bolsheviks to the Petliurists. ..
- And what do you want when the word "war" and the yellow-blue combination of colors are prohibited in Russia?
Here's what the professionals think about it. The famous Russian literary critic Mikhail Zolotonosov reassures:
“The presence or absence of the Bulgakov Museum in Ukraine will not affect the study of life and creativity. In general, I'm tired of the epidemic of condemnation-discussions on every occasion. Well, they will close, then they will open ... at least they will not open at all. A sovereign state with its own ideology and culture. Let there be a museum of Leonid Plush. Or Vasyl Stus.”
Another equally well-known literary critic, Dina Magomedova , draws attention to a common mistake that Ukrainian writers made in their statement:
“To identify the hero and the author is a favorite thing for engaged readers. Why not ask: did the white officers really say and think that? And after all - yes! Blame the mirror again?
Ukrainian culturologist Dmitry Gorbachev also stood up for Bulgakov:
“Ukrainophobia of Bulgakov is a slander against the great writer. He loved Ukraine, as evidenced by the last section of the White Guard. I adored my native Kyiv. As the literary critic Miron Petrovsky has shown, it is Bulgakov's impressions of Kyiv that stand behind Jerusalem and Moscow in The Master and Margarita. This novel was composed in the Gogol tradition.
Bulgakov spoke Ukrainian, knew this language perfectly. This is evidenced by the Ukrainian-language fragments of the "White Guard". Once upon a time, the wise hetman Skoropadsky warned sadistic hotheads: do not beat your own (and this is both Gogol and Chekhov). An attack on Bulgakov is an attack on world and Ukrainian culture”.