The address of Leonid Sayanskiy (Popov)
4 Bolshoi Kislovskiy Lane
Subway station «Alexandrovsky Sad, Arbatskaya»
The house was built in the first quarter of the nineteenth century (the building was later built up and remodeled). From the end of the nineteenth century, Z. Perepelnikaya’s girls’ gymnasium was located here, and then, from 1906 to 1910, M. Bryukhonenko’s girls’ gymnasium. The writer and journalist Leonid Sayansky, whom Bulgakov met at the beginning of the 1920s, lived here. In October 1924, Bulgakov read The Fatal Eggs at a literary gathering at Sayansky’s place.
In conversation with Marietta Chudakova, Tatyana Lappa remembered, ‘Bulgakov met him at Gudok. Then his wife Yulia came from somewhere. They started coming to our place regularly, and always with a bottle of champagne. At that time we rarely went out – they came to us almost every evening. Aron Erlikh remembered that the short novel attracted an impressive audience – instead of the seven or eight people Bulgakov was promised, ‘the enormous room was full of guests – perhaps no less that fifty people came along. There were writers, critics and actors’. Mikhail Afanasevich had intended to read out only a few scenes from the story, however, ‘Any attempt to deviate from the manuscript and briefly summarise the future direction of the plot was met with loud protests. Everyone wanted to listen without gaps’. The reading went on for more than three hours. Mikhail Afanasevich and Tatyana Nikolaevna celebrated the new year 1924 in Sayansky’s flat: ‘Sayansky’s father was there… his wife, an old woman, was at the table… Apart from Sayansky and Bulgakov, there were no more writers there’. Tatyana Nikolaevana also remembered that they told each other’s fortunes by melting wax and pouring it in water, ‘Nothing came out for me – it was blank, but everyone else got something. I was so upset, I cried when I got home, saying, “There, you see? We’re going to separate”. He said, “You believe in that rubbish?”’ The prediction soon came true – Bulgakov’s romance was to begin with Liubov Belozerskaya, whom he married in 1925.