Friday, 7 August 2009

Heart of a Dog

'Owww-ow-ow-ow! Oh, look at me, I'm dying. There's a snowstorm moaning a requiem for me in this doorway and I'm howling with it. I'm finished. Some bastard in a dirty white cap - the cook in the office canteen at the National Economic Council - spilled some boiling water and scalded my left side. Filthy swine - and a proletarian too.'

The voice of Sharik, canine hero of 'Heart of a Dog', opens Bulgakov's masterful novel. Subsequently, equipped by a Moscow professor with a dead man's testicles and pituitary gland, the stray becomes worryingly human, causing enough heartache that the experimenter reverses his procedure.

Alfie is another dog given literary voice, through his eponymous diary blog, transcribed by Rosemary J kind. He would doubtless sympathise with Sharik's plight and admonish his tormentors, albeit that Alfie's rights based patter might be incompatible with sneering at proletarians.

No comments: