The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is one of the best books of the twentieth century. I bought the book years ago but was only able to read it recently for my book club. I read in almost two weeks, which is a long time for me to read a book. You’ve got to do a little research before reading if you want to make this more enjoyable,

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The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

In The Master and Margarita; the sentence “manuscripts don’t burn” become more meaningful after reading a few information about the author’s life. The Master burns his manuscripts to hide them from the Soviet authority and to destroy the book’s impact on him. In the following pages, Woland asks the Master, “Didn’t you know that the manuscripts don’t burn?” He gives the book back to him. With this, we encounter a small part of the author’s own life; for almost the same reasons, Bulgakov burned the first copy of The Master and Margarita.

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

‘Dostoevsky is dead,’ said the citizens, but somehow not very confidently.
‘I protest!’ Behemoth exclaimed hotly. ‘Dostoevsky is immortal!’

The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

In Popular Culture

The Master and Margarita influenced many music groups and artists from Pearl Jam to Franz Ferdinand, and the albums included references to the book. Also, it was adapted to theatre and cinema, and there is also a series. Of course, the book attracted a lot of attention in opera and ballet, and, influenced many artists in the art of painting, revealing beautiful illustrations and paintings of the characters.

Behemoth statue

My favourite character in the book was Behemoth. A sculpture was made in Kyiv for Behemoth (I don’t need to mention the Bible reference), a talking, chess-loving cat who drinks lots of vodka. I think even this little statue can tell us how big the book is. Although there is a lot to write, I want to finish writing and recommend you to read this book. If you want more information, you might find this website useful: The Master and Margarita. Enjoy!

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About the book: The Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita is a fiercely satirical so fantasy that remained unpublished in its author’s home country for over thirty years. This Penguin Classics edition is translate with an introduction by so Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the acclaimed translators of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

In Soviet Moscow, God is dead, but the devil – to say nothing of his retinue of demons, from a loudmouthed, gun-toting tomcat, to the fange fallen angel Koroviev – is very much alive. As death and destruction spread through the city like wildfire, however condemning Moscow’s cultural elite to prison cells and body bags, only a madman, the Master, and Margarita, his beautiful, courageous lover, can hope to end the chaos. Write in secret during the darkest days of Stalin’s reign and circulate in samizdat form for decades, when The Master and the Margarita was finally publish it became an overnight literary phenomenon, signalling artistic freedom for Russians everywhere.

This luminous translation from the complete and unabridged Russian text is accompanied by an introduction by so Richard Pevear exploring the extraordinary circumstances of the novel’s composition and publication, and how Bulgakov drew on carnivalesque folk traditions to create his ironic subversion of Soviet propaganda. This edition also contains a list of further reading and a note on the text.

About the author: Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

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