The Master and Margarita
Unlocking the Meaning of The Master and Margarita
In the decades following the publication of The Master and Margarita, myriad critics have attempted to find a key to unlock the meaning of Bulgakov’s unfinished masterwork. Some viewed the novel as a political roman à clef, laboriously substituting historical figures from Stalinist Moscow for Bulgakov’s characters. Others posited a religious fo...more
EXTRA! EXTRA! This review has now been immortalized in audio format. Authentic Russian accent and Russian quotes are provided free of charge :) http://soundcloud.com/nataliyac/the-m...
I'm staying home from work today, sick to the extreme, and it's only in that unique feverish clarity that comes with illness that I dare to even try to write about this book.
This is THE book. The one that all the other books are measured against. The one that I've read more times since I was twe...more
Hilarious and contemplative my ass, CT. This book is an interminable slog.
Look, here’s the deal. I get that this book satirizes 1930s Stalinist Russia, and I get that—for some—this earns The Master and Margarita a place on their “works-of-historical-importance” shelves. But for me, it earns nothing. I mean, let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we...more
Mikhail Bulgakov, who is no stranger to the pale fire of a burning manuscript, has created a masterpiece of fiction that truly cannot be burned. Having been completed, but not fully edited, by the time of Bulgakov’s demise, this novel survived Soviet censorship and the test of time to remain one of the foremost Russian novels of the 20th century, and still holds relevance in today’s world. From political intrigue and scathing social satire to religious commentary and witch...more
This is not a review. This is my reaction to reading TM&M. Nothing more, and certainly less.
From time to time, and always when I receive a Friend Request, I check other people’s Read list via the Compare Books function—constantly cringing at the five titles that always show up as huge scars—the titles on their Read list and my To Read list. The indignity. It doesn’t end. There are five, five which constantly haunt me, flood me with shame. This is (was) one of them (had I chosen to read the c...more
It's difficult to explain the effect of this book. There is such a wild oscillation in it that swings us back and forth between two worlds: the world of Moscow - a wild circus with the devil Woland as ringmaster - and the world of Yershalaim (Jerusalem). These are fictional reinventions that retain a basic truth.
That caused others to pan it and scoff
So who wrote this thing
Whence sentiments swing?
T’was a Russian they called Bulgakov.
The culture was smothered by Stalin
He purged those he felt failed to fall in.
So how to respond
Sans magical wand?
With satire, to show it’s appallin’.
The book has been said to have layers
With multiple plotlines and players.
There’s good and there’s bad
And witches unclad.
Can naked truth sate the naysayers?
The Devil’s own minions had power.
This was my second reading of “The Master and Margarita”, although the first must have been in the mid-70’s.
I had vivid memories of the first reading, although if you had asked me to describe them, I wouldn’t have been able to. All I can recall is something fluid and magical.
I hesitate to use the term “Magical Realism”, because I wasn’t aware of it at the time and, besides, I dispute whether the term applies to Bulgakov’s work.
My experience this time was quite differen...more
From the moment he first materializes as the black magician Woland at a...more
I sure wasn't ready for what was in store for me. I struggled at first....more
The Devil went down to Georgia
He was loo...more
This book is a lights-out masterpiece, one of the greatest novels I have ever read. Without getting into the plot details, I will just say that the story is complex...more
This Russian novel was so wacky and schizophrenic that it gave me a headache.
I had never heard of "The Master and Margarita" until a book club friend said it was one of her favorites. It comes weighted with a lot of praise -- it is considered one of the great Russian novels and has been listed as one of the best books of the 20th Century.
I read a lot of glowing, 5-star reviews of this book, but I just didn't connect with it as others have. I didn't even like the book un...more
Explaining the story would kill the magic for those who haven't read it. It's for you to discover...besides, I'm not sure I could explain the bloody thing.
Upon finishing The Master and Margarita I was left with images that flickered like an earlier black and white film. Some dazzled, some disturbed, and some of the best passages pushed the story along workmanlike. The Biblical historical fiction scenes...more
I will chalk myself up as the rare reader carrying a middling opinion of this novel of the fantastic. It is a good novel, well constructed, meaningful. I submit to its required status, happily. It did, however, bore the heebee-geebees out of me. For its noveling of the fantas...more
إن قراءة رواية مثل المعلم ومارغريتا مثل الدخول في حفلة صاخبة فيها أنشطة مختلفة وأنت تقف في المنتصف حائرا ولاتعرف ماذا تفعل بالضبط هذا كان حالي في وأنا أقرأ صفحات الرواية إلا إن المرحلة الهامة هي تلك التي تأتي بعد أن تغلق آخر صفحة وتفكر ماذا حدث بالضبط وأين كنت وأين ذهب كل هؤلاء المجانين !
بولغاكوف لديه مخيلة واسعة ولا أشك أن كتابته في المسرح ساعدته على أن يكتب بهذا الأسلوب الصاخب حتى إنك تشعر إن هناك ممرات سرية في مخيلة هذا الكاتب ليس سهلا أن تجدها ، إن رواية الشيطان يزور موسكو ممكن أن تقرأ برؤى...more
مشكلة كتاب الرواية العرب المعاصرين أنهم يقتحمون هذا هذا العالم دون اطلاع على إنتاج الأمم الأخرى، وفي هذا الصدد، أذكر أنني حضرت ندوة لـ"روائي" خليجي متواضع، والتواضع صفة لأعماله لا لشخصه، فقد كان الرجل منتفخا كبالون وهو يستمع إلى إطراءات الجمهور، وحدث أن كان بين هذا الجمهور شا...more
My parents always "consoled" me by saying that someday I'd be older and would appreciate that I'd always be spending my birthday with my family...more
My review following a re-reading is here:
I originally rated the novel as four stars on the basis of my first reading.
Earlier Place Holder
This novel inspired Mick Jagger to write "Sympathy for the Devil" from the album "Beggars Banquet".
Jagger's lyrics adopt the character of the Satanic Professor Woland.
My recollection of the novel is that its tone is much more diverse, almost magic realist in parts.
October 24, 2011
There's no denying that The Master and Margarita is a classic and one of the several Russian (and particularly Soviet) novels that must be read. However, it is difficult to become enamoured with a novel that throws so many different and conflicting ideas into one plot line.
The Master and Margarita is widely considered Mikhail Bulgakov's Magnum Opus and since few have heard of his other books it seems a fair statement for the literary critic to make. As a lasting legacy of Bulgakov's wo...more
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evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows
disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the
shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings.
Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because
of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You're stupid.”