Dan Wood, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, 2012
“Manuscripts Don’t Burn” is from the novel The Master and Margarita, written in the 1930’s by Mikhail Bulgakov the soviet writer and satirist. The line is spoken by the devil to a writer who had destroyed his own work, which then magically reappears. It has been interpreted through the years as a testament to the writer and artist’s perseverance through oppression, and became somewhat prophetic for Bulgakov’s own life. He had been unable to publish any new work under Stalin, and wrote the novel in secret before he died in 1939. His widow snuck the novel out of the country where it was published in France in the 1950’s, to instant worldwide acclaim. The newspaper article printed underneath is excerpted from Anthony Shadid’s beautifully written article published in the Washington Post a few day after the bombing of al-Mutanabbi street. The Arabic text overprinted is a translation of the title, “Manuscripts Don’t Burn”.