Bezdomny [Homeless],

pen name of Ivan Nikolaevich Ponyryov

Bezdomny is a young poet at the beginning of the novel. His long antireligious poem is critiqued by Berlioz in the first chapter because his Jesus turned out "too alive, a Jesus who exists."

Bezdomny's name recalls that of Demyan Bedny [Poor], real name Efim Alexeevich Pridvorov (1883-1945), who also wrote antireligious works in the 20s, e. g. The New Testament without Defects of the Evangelist Demyan. His name is also like that of Alexander Ilich Bezymensky [Nameless] (1898-1973), a proletarian poet who wrote a play that parodied, in part Bulgakov's "Day's of the Turbins." At the same time the semantics of Bezdomny's name connect him with themes of homelessness, poverty, and other names in the novel like Bosoi [Barefoot].

Bezdomny's first name, Ivan, links him with the Russian folkloric character "Ivanushka durachok" -- Ivan the Fool, who may be stupid, but whose ineptitude wins him both success and sympathy from the Russian public. He is called Ivanushka in Chapter 30.