Chapter 4

The Chase



got some sunflower oil at the store--there was in fact a store near Patriarch's Ponds on Malaya Bronnaya St.

holding a sword--This prop would connect the stranger with Mephistopheles from Gounod's Faust.

useless pince-nez

a cat, big as a hog

Nikitsky Gates--Several intersections along the boulevard ring, the inner of the two rings built over former city walls, are named after the gates that once stood in these walls. The Nikitsky Gates are at the intersection of Bolshaya Nikitskaya street and the Boulevard Ring.

An "A" streetcar--The "A" cars ran around the Boulevard Ring, while the "B" line ran around the Garden Ring (as it still does today).

cat riding a tram

supernatural speed--again odd distortions of time and space

Map of The Chase

Building No. 13, Apt. 47--Bulgakov actually describes the apartment of his friends the Liamins. Nikolai Nikolaevich Liamin, literary scholar and translator, and Natalia Abramovna Liamina-Ushakova, his artist-wife, lived at Savelievsky Pereulok 12, Apt. 66. (See Miagkov)

A number of unlit primus stoves--Obviously this is the kitchen of a communal apartment, in which each family has its own primus stove.

wedding candles--In the Orthodox wedding ceremony the bride and groom hold candles during the service. (image)

paper icon

granite steps of the amphitheater by the Moscow River

Tolstoyan-style shirt

plunged into the water like a swallow--Remember the swallow on Pilate's balcony. Ivan's swim takes place near the Church of Christ the Savior and is a kind of baptism into a new life (don't forget that he has an icon and a candle, as well as a special costume!).

MASSOLIT ID--Documents were very important in the Soviet world, as we shall see. Losing one's documents was tantamount to losing one's identity.

Polonaise from Eugene Onegin

bass singing of his love for Tatyana