‘The whole horror of the situation is that he now has a human heart, not a dog’s heart. And about the rottenest heart in all creation!’

The mark of Mikhail Bulgakov laid bare in a single excerpt — confusion, surrealism and absolute catastrophe.

I first became aware of Bulgakov’s writing for somewhat baseless and embarrassing reasons. In the third year of my English literature undergraduate degree, I sought respite from the world of Franz Kafka and the unrelenting existential crisis of bureaucracy. As anyone would. In doing so, I would often find that a way to overcome writer’s block —…

The first time I heard the name ‘Kafka’, other than in the lazy overuse of the term ‘kafka-esque’, was at the age of 14 in a brief discussion with my brother. He questioned whether I had ever heard of the Bohemian novelist, proceeding to tell me that he had recently attempted to read The Trial, only to find it dull and confusing, embarking on a tirade against the unfinished novella. Even now, if I were to mention his name, he would retort in frustration, perhaps feeling Kafka had wasted his time. To me, herein lies the simple beauty of Franz…

For the last eleven months, I have been passively convincing myself to attempt to think of something interesting to write about. Perhaps this is the first mistake I made.

During the beginning of the pandemic (yes, like many other blog posts, this one begins with the pandemic), I felt the fruits of inspiration. I foolishly thought, Maybe this is my time? …

Matthew Whitehouse

24 year old postgraduate experimenting with writing styles

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