Heart of a Dog, by Mikhail Bulgakov

01/01/1925View on timeline


Brain transplantation featured in Michael Bulgakov’s 1925 Heart of a Dog, a short novel in which a murderer’s brain is transplanted into a dog’s body, resulting in a dog with the criminal’s personality.


Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

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But I wander from my theme... So, he can maintain a conversation. What I suggest happened is this: the hypophysis, having been accepted by the organism after the operation, opened up the speech-centres in the dog's brain, and words came flooding out in a rush. In my opinion, we are dealing with a revived and developing, not with a newly-created brain. Oh, what a divine confirmation of the theory of evolution!

- Heart of a Dog

About the book

Mikhail Bulgakov's absurdist parable of the Russian Revolution.

A world-famous Moscow professor -- rich, successful, and violently envied by his neighbors -- befriends a stray dog and resolves to achieve a daring scientific first by transplanting into it the testicles and pituitary gland of a dead man. But the results are wholly unexpected: a distinctly and worryingly human animal is on the loose, and the professor's hitherto respectable life becomes a nightmare beyond endurance.

As in The Master and Margarita, the masterpiece he completed shortly before his death, Mikhail Bulgakov's early novel, written in 1925, combines outrageously grotesque ideas with a narrative of deadpan naturalism. The Heart of a Dog can be read as an absurd and wonderfully comic story; it can also be seen as a fierce parable of the Russian Revolution. - Goodreads

Heart of a Dog on Goodreads

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Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (1891–1940) was a Russian writer, medical doctor and playwright active...

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Published in 26/02/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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