The Spaso House Ball
Bulgakov's wife Elena Sergeevna says that first there was a lesser ball
that took place in Woland's bedroom, but Bulgakov replaced it by the grand
ball and destroyed the old manuscript. The luxury of the grand ball reflects
a reception the Bulgakovs attended at the residence of the American ambassador
William Bullitt 22 April 1935.
Spaso House, the American Ambassador's Residence
Elena Sergeevna described the reception, which she called a "ball,"
in her journal for 23 April, 1935:
"Dancing in the hall with
columns, colored lights from above. Behind a net, masses of birds
flying. An orchestra imported from Stockholm. M. A. was captivated most
of all by the director's tails--to his ankles.
Dinner in a dining room specially attached to the mansion for the ball,
with separate tables. In the corners small pens with kids, lambs, baby bears.
Along the walls--cages with roosters. At around 3 a.m. accordions played
and the roosters started singing. Style Russe.
Masses of tulips, roses--from Holland.
On the upper floor a barbecue. Red roses, red French wine. Downstairs--everywhere
We wanted to leave around 3, but the Americans wouldn't let us Around
6 we got in their embassy Cadillac and went home. We brought home a huge
bouquet of tulips."
(Quoted in Sokolov, Bulgakovskaia entsiklopediia, 139)
SEE THE INTERIOR OF SPASO HOUSE!
There is now a Spaso House Website c/o USIS!