Books: Punishing a Dramacide

BLACK SNOW by Mikhail Bulgakov. 190 pages. Simon & Schuster. $4.50.

The moral of this mocking autobiographical burlesque—although not perhaps the one intended by the author—is that if making an enemy is unavoidable and the choice is between a writer and a psychopath, the prudent citizen will choose the psychopath. Konstantin Stanislavsky, the Russian director whose method of acting became the Method, had the imprudence to anger Writer Mikhail Bulgakov. He got away with it until 27 years after his own death, and 25 years after Bulgakov's. For most of that period Bulgakov's work was banned in the Soviet Union and unknown...