El maestro y 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
The Master and Margarita is a novel, by Russian writer, Mikhail Bulgakov, written in the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1940 during Stalin's regime.
The story concerns a visit by the devil to the officially atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider it to be one of the best novels of the 20th century, as well as the foremost of Soviet satires.
The novel alternates between two settings.
The first is 1930's Moscow, where Satan appears at the Patriarch Pon ...more
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 twelve than the number of books some people I know have read in their entire lives. The one from which I've memorized entire passages. This is it, the golden standard, the masterpiece, the unattainable perfe ...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
I experienced this magical novel as an unrivalled ode to love and reveled in its delectable burlesque and hilarious scenes. It knocked me off my feet and pointed ...more
Stories, stories, all is stories: political stories, religious stories, scientific stories, even stories about stories. We live inside these stories. Like this one in The Master and Margarita. The story that we can more or less agree upon we call reality. But is it real?
Story-making and telling is what we do as human beings. Through stories we create meaning out of thin air, in the same way that plants create their food from light, and usually with about the same level of cas ...more
His name is God. Not Lucifer,not Satan,but God!!!
Satan is God in a bad mood. God in a bad mood lays our souls to waste.
«As heads is tales
Just call me LUCIFER
cop is to criminal as God is to Lucifer».
God in a good mood plays games with us.
«What’s confusing you is just THE NATURE OF MY GAME»
«This song has a direct tie to the book, "the Master and the Margarita", is about all the history & tragedies with points throughout time. The man he is describing is the devil.The ...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
Just rereading tonight and ...more
I would probably appreciate the novel more if I better understood Bulgakov’s scathing satire on atheistic Soviet society, which he exposes as materialistic and bourgeois. ...more
Phew! I needed a margarita after finishing The Master and Margarita! What a magnificent, turbulent read!
This extravagant Russian allegory is an adult Alice in Wonderland, bursting at the seams with mischief, darkness and rambunctiousness. The ghosts of Faust and Dante must have sat on the author's shoulders as he worked tirelessly on this masterpiece.
In short, this book was made for me! Come down from the ...more
And one can't quite get to the bottom of "The Master and Margarita"--a trippy, satirical, hard-to-classify classic of th ...more
The devil disguised as Prof. Voland and his entourage, causing trouble in Moscow
The story of "The Master and Margarita" tells about the devil visiting Moscow, causing confusion and "evil" that exposes the repression of society. The devils doing evolves around a writer (the Master), whom they locked into a mental institution for writing a story and making claims that are inconsistent with the states ideology of athei ...more
First of all, the man described did not limp on any leg, and was neither short nor enormous, but simply tall. As for his teeth, he had platinum crowns on the left side and gold on the right. He was wearing an expensive grey suit and imported shoes of a matching colour. His grey beret was cocked rakishly over one ear; under his arm he carried a stick with a black knob shaped li...more
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 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 censo...more
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
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. ...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
― Mikhail Bulgakov
The intriguing cover gave nothing away, while the title made me long for a frosty drink on the beach. I hadn’t heard a whisper about this book before, unaware of the captivating discovery I was about to make. Like a multifaceted gem, each sparkling page of this fantastical Russian wonder drew me deeper into The Master and Margarita's brilliant world. I was soon ...more
What is this novel through which I've ambled?
Is it only that Doctor Bulgakov has rambled?
Or some heady, unearthly wine I've sampled?
Folks! I do believe that my brain has been scrambled!
When the Russians write, you do expect some gloom;
A lot of characters sitting around, awaiting doom:
And guys wandering about like Leopold Bloom -
Just marking time until they can enter the tomb...
But when on page one, you encounter the devil
Come to visit Moscow, wine, dine and revel;
With his motley crew of demons m ...more
“The Master and Marg ...more
And I thought Dostoyevski was good. Damn. This one is completely modern, absolutely unappreciated in his time, dead young, and hailed as one of Russia's most popular novelists. Ever. And for good reason. The satire, written in the 50's, lambasts Moscow's '30's and continues to be a threat to all Russia today ...more
From the moment he first materializes as the black magician Woland at a ...more
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Articles featuring this book
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.”