Read Il Maestro e Margherita by Mikhail Bulgakov Emanuela Guercetti Online


Accusato di essere un antiproletario al soldo dei "nuovi borghesi", e sottoposto a un fuoco concentrato di critiche e umiliazioni (erano gli anni cupi dello stalinismo), Bulgakov dedicò gli ultimi anni della sua vita alla stesura di questo grottesco, ferocemente satirico, metafisico, esilarante capolavoro. La riscoperta de "Il Maestro e Margherita" avvenne solo intorno alAccusato di essere un antiproletario al soldo dei "nuovi borghesi", e sottoposto a un fuoco concentrato di critiche e umiliazioni (erano gli anni cupi dello stalinismo), Bulgakov dedicò gli ultimi anni della sua vita alla stesura di questo grottesco, ferocemente satirico, metafisico, esilarante capolavoro. La riscoperta de "Il Maestro e Margherita" avvenne solo intorno al 1960, ma il successo, sia in Unione Sovietica sia in Occidente, fu immediato e sbalorditivo. Era nato uno dei miti letterari del nostro tempo....

Title : Il Maestro e Margherita
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ISBN : 9788811360247
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 427 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Il Maestro e Margherita Reviews

  • Kris
    2019-06-16 09:02

    This review is dedicated to Mary, the very model of a perfect co-moderator and GR friend.Unlocking the Meaning of The Master and MargaritaMikhail BulgakovIn 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 formula to understand the relationships between good and evil in the novel.After giving myself time to think, I believe that any attempts to reduce the novel to a formula reflect some readers’ desire for neat, safe boxes to contain the world. This approach is at odds with the fear-ridden, desperate, and yet transcendent reality of Bulgakov’s experience in writing, revising, destroying, reconstructing, and then revising the novel, up to his death in Moscow on March 10, 1940. The Master and Margarita shows evidence of Bulgakov’s struggles to complete it, especially in part two, which illness prevented him from revising. I believe that the novel’s profound humanity stems from these imperfections, these facets not quite fitting neatly together, these jarring movements from scene to scene. In the end, The Master and Margarita is, by virtue of its own existence, a testament to the necessity of art in times of repression, and to the urgent need for artists to veer from cowardice and hold firmly to their commitment to living a true human life, with fantasy and reality combined, with history and invention feeding into each other, with good and evil providing the shadows and depth that make life meaningful and real.The Master and Margarita as Fairy TaleOne approach to The Master and Margarita that appeals to me is understanding it, in part, as a fairy tale. In the novel, Bulgakov threads together three different storylines, which intertwine, especially at the novel’s conclusion: the often slapstick depiction of life in Stalinist Moscow, seen in part through the antics of the devil Woland and his demonic helpers; the story of Pilate, with names and details transformed from the familiar Biblical versions; and the story of the Master and Margarita. The action takes place in a compressed time frame, so readers looking for character development will be disappointed. Instead, Bulgakov develops an extended allegory where flight equals freedom, where greed and small-mindedness are punished, and where weary artists are afforded some mercy and peace.The Master and Margarita provided Bulgakov with a lifeline to the imagination in the midst of the stultifying culture of Stalinist Russia. There are healthy doses of wish fulfillment in the novel, especially in those sections in which Woland’s minions, Azazello, Behemoth, and Koroviev, wreak retribution for the petty-mindedness and greed inherent in this political and social system. There also is a desperate attempt to resist the Stalinist bent towards monotony and flatness, and instead to weave dizzying strands of magic, fantasy, and power into life in Moscow.BehemothThese attempts to use a story as wish fulfillment, criticizing a social order by turning it upside down in fiction, and recognizing how to use an audience’s sense of wonder as a fulcrum for change, resonate with the historical and cultural functions of fairy tales as described by scholars including Jack Zipes in The Great Fairy Tale Tradition and Marina Warner in From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and their Tellers. Magic and wonder force the reader to acknowledge other possibilities outside of a reality of political repression, poverty, and war. When fairy tales reveal challenges to misplaced authority, whether in the guise of an evil queen or a greedy government official, they may take on one of two roles: a subversive threat to authority, or a valve to release the pressure of living under severe constraints. Perhaps most important, fairy tales remind their readers that life is miraculous, and that certain freedoms, such as the freedom to imagine and dream, can be nurtured and honored even under the most restrictive regimes. For Bulgakov, the blend of the fantastical and the everyday in The Master and Margarita serves as his manifesto. Throughout his life, he fought to preserve the full human experience, not the two-dimensional totalitarianism in the Stalinist USSR, where human life was flattened of any sense of wonder, creativity, exuberance. Instead, he advocated for human life with all its shadows and colors, with a foundation in imagination and wonder. The freedom he sought was not simply freedom from communal housing or repressive government policies. Instead, he sought the freedom to imagine, to dream, to infuse his life with wonder, and to share his vision. For this reason, any attempt to read The Master and Margarita as a simple satire of Stalinist totalitarianism is misguided. Instead, Bulgakov sought to fly free along with his characters, and in doing so to tap into the universal human need for imagination, wonder, and freedom of the intellect and spirit.“For me the inability to write is as good as being buried alive”Bulgakov and his wife Yelena, c. 1939Although Bulgakov universalized his quest for artistic freedom in The Master and Margarita, he drew inspiration and a sense of urgency from his experiences. A playwright, he faced censorship as his plays were banned and productions cancelled. He saw his fellow writers imprisoned for following their calling. (In response to one of these cases, Bulgakov destroyed one version of The Master and Margarita, which he later reconstructed.)In desperation, between 1929 and 1930 Bulgakov wrote three letters to Soviet government officials, including Stalin, to protest his censorship and beg for a chance to practice his art, if not within Russia, outside it. In the final letter, dated March 28, 1930, Bulgakov movingly describes his ordeal, arguing that his duty as a writer is to defend artistic freedom, and pleading that being silenced is tantamount to death.Although the letters provided Bulgakov with employment after receiving a favorable response, and saved him from arrest or execution, he still faced his works’ being banned and suppressed. He devoted the last years of his life to revising The Master and Margarita, knowing he would not live to see it published, and sometimes despairing it would ever be read outside of his family circle. His widow, Yelena Shilovskaya, worked tirelessly after his death for decades, preserving his manuscript and finally seeing it published, in a censored version, in 1966 and 1967. Planes of Reality: The Fantastic, The Historical, and the TotalitarianAzazello, Behemoth, and KorovievSome criticism of The Master and Margarita comes from the abrupt transitions and changes in mood among the three storylines: the actions of Woland and his minions in Moscow; the transformed story of Pontius Pilate, with some striking changes to the names of characters and the sequence of events which simultaneously make the narrative seem more historical and keep readers off-balance; and the story of the Master and Margarita, which includes Bulgakov’s central concerns about cowardice, artistry, duty, loyalty and love. I believe that Bulgakov purposefully constructed his novel so that the reader would be pulled from dimension to dimension. The effect, although jarring, is one of constant instability and surprise. The reader is immersed in a world where a Biblical past seems more historically based and less fantastic than 20th-century Moscow, where characters who are petty and greedy are meted out fantastic public punishments, at times literally on a stage, and where in the end characters with the most substance and loyalty have their lives transformed through magic.By carefully building this multifaceted world, with all the seams showing, Bulgakov forces us as readers to consider the intersections among these worlds. Bulgakov reveals how we cut ourselves off from the wellsprings of magic and wonder, and invites us to join him in mounting a broomstick and riding off into the night sky, free from the constraints of our everyday lives.The Necessity of Shadows: WolandWolandJust as Bulgakov confounds his readers’ expectations of a unified and seamless world, so he also makes us question our assumptions about good and evil. A key character is Woland, the devil at the center of the magical action. From his appearance in the first chapter, Woland presents an arresting and disconcerting figure. Woland immediately inserts himself into a conversation with Berlioz, the editor of a literary magazine and chair of MASSOLIT, a prestigious literary association, and Ivan, a poet also known by his pen name Bezdomny, engaging in a debate with them about the existence of God. Berlioz parrots many of the current arguments against the existence of God, but Woland deftly counters his arguments in a manner that veers between the charming and the sinister.This debate introduces a theme that runs throughout The Master and Margarita: a cosmos in which good and evil each have their jurisdiction, but work together to ensure that people get the rewards or punishments that they deserve. In a famous passage later in the novel, Woland provides the following cogent description: “You pronounced your words as if you refuse to acknowledge the existence of either shadows or evil. But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if 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 from 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."Throughout The Master and Margarita, Woland metes out justice to wrongdoers. However, he does not simply punish -- instead, he also rewards Margarita for her devotion, intelligence, loyalty, and bravery. He rescues the Master from his exile in the asylum and ultimately grants him and Margarita a destiny of peace and rest together. In doing so, Woland overturns our expectations. Bulgakov describes a world where good and evil powers work together to provide some justice and balance in our lives, in spite of the thoughtless and cruel ways that humans behave. As Woland tells Margarita at one point, “Everything will be made right, that is what the world is built on.” The true evil in The Master and Margarita does not rise from Hell, but instead comes from the pettiness and greed of flawed, small-minded humans.The Master and Margarita: Responsibility to ArtThe Master makes his appearance relatively late in the novel, in chapter 13, “Enter the Hero.” However, he is not the traditional hero. He is a broken man, living in an asylum, remembering his love for Margarita, while at the same time turning his back on the art that Margarita loved, protected, and honored: his novel about Pontius Pilate.In a lengthy conversation with Ivan, the Master paints an idyllic portrait of his life with Margarita, who creates a cozy sanctuary full of roses and love, in which the written word is treasured and respected: “Running her slender fingers and pointed nails through her hair, she endlessly reread what he had written, and then she sewed the very cap he had shown Ivan. Sometimes she would squat down next to the lower shelves or stand up on a chair next to the upper ones and dust the hundreds of books. She predicted fame, urged him on, and started calling him Master. She waited eagerly for the promised final words about the fifth procurator of Judea, recited the parts she especially liked in a loud sing-song voice, and said that the novel was her life.”However this idyll comes to a crashing end when the Master completes the manuscript and looks for a publisher. He provides harrowing descriptions of his brutal treatment by the literary world in Moscow, as editors, publishers, and fellow writers publicly criticized him for his novel. These descriptions bear the pain of Bulgakov’s personal experience with censorship and rejection, culminating in the Master’s paralyzing fear of everything around him.Finally, in a scene inspired by events in Bulgakov’s life, the Master attempts to destroy his manuscript. Although Margarita salvages some pages, this scene marks the end of her life with the Master, who turns his back on Margarita and his art. He describes himself as a man without a name or a future, marking time in the asylum. Bulgakov depicts the Master as a broken man, whose loss of spirit and cowardice in the face of adversity led him to lose everything of value in his life.MargaritaMargarita poses a stark contrast to the Master. When we finally meet her in part two, she is grieving over losing the Master, but she also shows herself to be intelligent, energetic, and fearless in her determination to find him and rebuild their life together. In doing so, Margarita is not taking an easy path. She is married to a successful husband who adores her. The two live in a large apartment with a great deal of privacy, a true luxury in Stalinist Moscow. She is beautiful, but she cannot put behind her deep dissatisfaction with her life, apparently perfect on the surface, but with no depth. She is living a lie. Her despair starts to break when she has a dream about the Master, which she views as a portent that her torment will soon come to an end. After rushing from her home, she has a fateful conversation with Azazello, whom Woland has tasked with inviting her to officiate as his queen at his ball. Margarita handles the interaction with spirit and courage, agreeing to follow Azazello’s mysterious instructions in hopes of learning the Master’s fate.Margarita’s Night RideMargarita is transformed and embarks on a night ride, flying naked on a broomstick over Moscow. After wreaking havoc at the apartment of a publisher who had tormented the Master, and comforting a small boy who awakened, terrified by the destruction, she participates in a moonlight gathering of other magical creatures. Afterwards, she returns to Moscow in a magical car, “After all that evening's marvels and enchantments, she had already guessed who they were taking her to visit, but that didn't frighten her. The hope that there she would succeed in regaining her happiness made her fearless.” The night ride is a symbol of Margarita’s freedom and power.Her fearlessness propels Margarita through her meeting with Woland and his minions, and a surreal evening as the queen of Woland’s midnight ball. Her devotion is rewarded by Woland, in scenes full of magic and moonlight. Although the Master crumbles in the face of adversity, Margarita becomes the ultimate hero and savior through her courage and commitment to the Master and his art.The MoonThroughout The Master and Margarita, Bulgakov uses key symbols to tie together the different chapters and storylines. Perhaps the most important symbol is the moon, which appears frequently in practically every chapter. The moon conveys a kind of otherworldly truth. Characters are bathed in moonlight at critical points in the novel, especially when making entrances, as when the Master first appears in Ivan’s hospital room. Moonlight imparts insight and truth even to the most delusional of characters. The moon lights the night rides of Woland, his companions, Margarita and the Master.Woland and company: Night RideThe moonlight also features prominently in the Pilate chapters, serving as a lynchpin between them and the rest of the novel. Pilate looks up at the moon for solace in the face of his agony from his migraines and his cowardice, with his faithful dog Banga as his sole companion. Bulgakov uses the moon to illuminate Pilate’s torment and his final peace, granted to him by the Master, his creator:"[Pilate] has been sitting here for about two thousand years, sleeping, but, when the moon is full, he is tormented, as you see, by insomnia. And it torments not only him, but his faithful guardian, the dog. If it is true that cowardice is the most grave vice, then the dog, at least, is not guilty of it. The only thing that brave creature ever feared was thunderstorms. But what can be done, the one who loves must share the fate of the one he loves."In response to Woland’s prompting, the Master stands and shouts the words that complete his novel, and end Pilate’s torture:“The path of moonlight long awaited by the procurator led right up to the garden, and the dog with the pointed ears was the first to rush out on it. The man in the white cloak with the blood-red lining got up from his chair and shouted something in a hoarse, broken voice. It was impossible to make out whether he was laughing or crying, or what he was shouting, but he could be seen running down the path of moonlight, after his faithful guardian.”Pilate, Banga and the moonBulgakov follows this transformative scene with Woland’s gift of peace to the Master. As she did throughout the novel, Margarita remains by the Master’s side, his loyal companion through eternity. Bulgakov cannot give salvation to the Master, perhaps because of the enormity of his cowardice against art, perhaps because he has been so damaged by a hostile society. In these final passages, Margarita gives the Master, and the reader, a soothing picture of a peaceful life, perhaps one Bulgakov himself longed for:"Listen to the silence," Margarita was saying to the Master, the sand crunching under her bare feet. "Listen and take pleasure in what you were not given in life—quiet. Look, there up ahead is your eternal home, which you've been given as a reward. I can see the Venetian window and the grape-vine curling up to the roof. There is your home, your eternal home. I know that in the evenings people you like will come to see you, people who interest you and who will not upset you. They will play for you, sing for you, and you will see how the room looks in candlelight. You will fall asleep with your grimy eternal cap on your head, you will fall asleep with a smile on your lips. Sleep will strengthen you, you will begin to reason wisely. And you will never be able to chase me away. I will guard your sleep."

  • Nataliya
    2019-06-12 03:41

    EXTRA! EXTRA!This review has now been immortalized in audio format. Authentic Russian accent and Russian quotes are provided free of charge :)'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 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 perfection of literature. I'm not even being sarcastic; I mean every single word of this praise. "What would your good be doing if there were no evil, and what would the earth look like if shadows disappeared from it? After all, shadows are cast by objects and people. There is the shadow of my sword. But there are also shadows of trees and living creatures. Would you like to denude the earth of all the trees and all the living beings in order to satisfy your fantasy of rejoicing in the naked light? You are a fool."What is this book about? I wish it were easy to tell in one smartly constructed sentence, but luckily it's not. It is a story of Woland, the Satan, coming to Moscow with his retinue and wrecking absolute havoc over three long and oppressively hot summer days. It is a story of Pontius Pilate (the equestrian, the son of the astrologist-king, the last fifth Procurator of Judea) who has achieved the dreaded immortality due to a single action (or rather INaction) and wishes nothing more than for it to not have happened. It is a story of love between two very lonely people. It is a scaldingly witty story about the oppressive nature of early Stalin days and the rampant Soviet bureaucracy. It is a phantasmagorical story of the supernatural and the mythical. It has elements of humorous realism, romanticism, and mysticism. It is all of the above and much more. As doctors (the same profession that Bulgakov belonged to, by the way!), we are taught to look for the bigger picture, the synthesis of facts, the overall impression, the so-called 'gestalt'. Well, the gestalt here is - it's a true masterpiece."Manuscripts do not burn.""Bulgakov wrote this book over a period of 11-12 years, frequently abandoning it, coming back to it, destroying the manuscripts, rewriting it, abandoning it, coming back to it. He wrote it during the times when the reaction to such novels would have been the same as Woland has when hearing Master say he wrote a novel about Pontius Pilate:"About what, about what? About whom?" - said Woland, having stopped laughing. - "In these times? It's amazing! And you couldn't find a different subject?"In these times... 1930s were the time of Stalin's rule, the waves of Purges, the paranoia of one powerful man sweeping the country, the denunciations, the lies, the terror, the fear, the accusations, the senseless arrests, the nondescript black cars pulling up to the apartment buildings in the middle of the night and leaving with people who would not be heard from ever again. This was a suffocating atmosphere, and the only way Bulgakov survived it was that he for reasons unknown enjoyed the whimsical favor of the tyrant. This fear is everywhere, on every single page. From the poor unfortunate Berlioz in the early chapters, who without much hesitation is about to contact the authorities to report about a suspicious 'foreigner' to the unnamed people conducting the investigation of the strange Moscow events and puling the victims in for questioning to Rimskiy sending Varenukha with a packet of information for the 'right people' to Master's terrifying and unheard story starting with 'them' knocking on his window and ending with him broken in the mental institution... The fear is everywhere, thinly veiled. And yet it is never named, even once - the name of those causing the fear, never alluded to - no need for it, it's obvious anyway, and besides there's that age-long superstition about not naming the name of evil, which, funnily, in this novel is definitely NOT the Devil. Only Margarita has the guts to ultimately ask, "Do you want to arrest me?"------------------------"You're not Dostoevsky,' said the citizeness, who was getting muddled by Koroviev. 'Well, who knows, who knows,' he replied.'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.'I protest!' Behemoth exclaimed hotly. 'Dostoevsky is immortal!"The sharp satire of the contemporary to Bulgakov Soviet life of 1930s is wonderful, ranging from deadpan observations to witty remarks to absolute and utter slapstick (that, of course, involving the pair of Korovyev and Behemoth). It can be sidesplittingly funny one second, and in the next moment become painfully sad and very depressing. Not surprisingly - in the Russian tradition humor and sadness have always walked hand in hand; therefore, for instance, Russian clowns are the saddest clowns in the entire universe, trust me. This funny sadness manages to evoke the widest spectrum of emotional responses from me every single time I read this book, never ever failing at this."The only thing that he said was that he considers cowardice to be among the worst human vices."This book is not only the hilariously sad commentary on the realities of Bulgakov's contemporary society; it is also a shrewd commentary on the never-changing nature of humanity itself. The humanity that Woland wanted to observe in the Variety theatre, until he came to the sad but true conclusion that not much changed in them. The cowardice - the vice that Pilate feels Yeshua Ha-Nozri was implicitly accusing him of. The greed and love of money, leading to heinous crimes like treason and deceit and treachery. The egoism and vanity and self-absorption (just think of the talentless poet Ryukhin's anger at the seemingly lucky circumstances of Pushkin's fame!), the close-mindedness and complacency, the hate and bickering. This is all there, sadly exposed and gently (or sometimes not that gently) condemned. The consequences of this humanity shown in their extreme - think of Ryukhin's craving for immortality and Pilate's terror at facing it. And yet we see one bright light of a redeeming quality in the mankind, the one that makes even Woland cringe - mercy. Just think of people's reactions in the scene with George Bengalsky's head, Master freeing Pilate from centuries of doom, and - most touchingly of all - Margarita's unforgettable and selfless act of mercy towards Frieda. All that makes us not ashamed of being human. All that makes us worthy not of the light, the naked light that Woland so derisively talked about, but of peace. Just peace."The one who loves must share the fate of the one he loves."I love this book, love it more than I could ever hope to express in words. I can write endless essays about each chapter, approach it from each imaginable angle, analyze each one precisely and masterfully crafted phrase. I could do it for days - and yet still not pay due respect to this incredible work of art. Because it has the best kind of immortality. Because its depth is unrivaled. Because it is the work of an incredible genius. And so I will stop my feeble attempts to do it justice and instead will remain behind, like the needled memory of poor Professor Ponyrev, formerly Ivanushka Bezdomny, Master's last and only pupil, left to remember the unbelievable that he once witnessed and that broke his heart and soul. And I will finish with the lines from this novel that I had memorized back when I was twelve, just as awed by this book as I am now (the words that seem to pale when translated from their native Russian into English, alas!):"...And master's memory, the restless, needled memory, began to fade. Someone was setting master free, just like he himself set free the hero he created. This hero left into the abyss, left irrevocably, forgiven on the eve of Sunday son of astrologer-king, the cruel fifth Procurator of Judea, equestrian Pontius Pilate."

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-05-31 09:58

    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail BulgakovThe 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 1930s Moscow, where Satan appears at the Patriarch Ponds in the guise of "Professor" Woland, a mysterious gentleman "magician" of uncertain origin. He arrives with a retinue that includes the grotesquely dressed valet Koroviev; the mischievous, gun-happy, fast-talking black cat Behemoth; the fanged hitman Azazello and the witch Hella. They wreak havoc targeting the literary elite and its trade union MASSOLIT. Its privileged HQ is Griboyedov's house. The association is made up of corrupt social climbers and their women (wives and mistresses alike), bureaucrats, profiteers, and, more generally, skeptics of the human spirit. The second setting is the Jerusalem of Pontius Pilate, described by Woland in his conversations with Berlioz and later reflected in the Master's novel. This part of the novel concerns Pontius Pilate's trial of Yeshua Ha-Notsri, his recognition of an affinity with, and spiritual need for, Yeshua, and his reluctant but resigned submission to Yeshua's execution.Part one of the novel opens with a direct confrontation between Berlioz, the atheistic head of the literary bureaucracy, and an urbane foreign gentleman (Woland), who defends belief and reveals his prophetic powers. Berlioz brushes off the prophecy of his death, but dies pages later in the novel. The fulfillment of the death prophecy is witnessed by Ivan Ponyrev, a young and enthusiastically modern poet. He writes poems under the alias Bezdomny ("homeless"). His futile attempt to chase and capture the "gang" and warn of their evil and mysterious nature lands Ponyrev in a lunatic asylum. There, he is introduced to the Master, an embittered author. The rejection of his historical novel about Pontius Pilate and Christ had led the Master to such despair that he burned his manuscript and turned his back on the world, including his devoted lover, Margarita. Major episodes in the first part of the novel include a satirical portrait of the Massolit and their Griboyedov house; Satan's magic show at the Variety Theatre, satirizing the vanity, greed and gullibility of the new rich; and Woland and his retinue taking over the late Berlioz's apartment for their own use. (Apartments were at a premium in Moscow and were controlled by the state's elite. Bulgakov referred to his own apartment as one of the settings in the Moscow section of the novel.)Part two of the novel introduces Margarita, the Master's mistress. She refuses to despair over her lover or his work. She is invited to the Devil's midnight ball, where Woland offers her the chance to become a witch with supernatural powers. This takes place the night of Good Friday. This is the time of the spring full moon, as it was traditionally when Christ's fate was affirmed by Pontius Pilate, sending him to be crucified in Jerusalem. The Master's novel also covers this event. All three events in the novel are linked by this.Margarita enters naked into the realm of night after she learns to fly and control her unleashed passions. (She takes violent retribution on the literary bureaucrats who had condemned her beloved to despair.) She takes her enthusiastic maid Natasha with her, to fly over the deep forests and rivers of the USSR. She bathes and returns to Moscow with Azazello, her escort, as the anointed hostess for Satan's great Spring Ball. Standing by his side, she welcomes the dark celebrities of human history as they arrive from Hell. She survives this ordeal and, for her pains, Satan offers to grant Margarita her deepest wish. She chooses to liberate a woman whom she met at the ball from the woman's eternal punishment. The woman had been raped and killed her resulting infant. Her punishment was to wake each morning and find the same handkerchief by which she had killed the child lying on her nightstand. Satan grants her first wish and offers her another, saying that Margarita's first wish was unrelated to her own desires. For her second wish, she chooses to liberate the Master and live in poverty-stricken love with him. Neither Woland nor Yeshua appreciates her chosen way of life, and Azazello is sent to retrieve them. The three drink Pontius Pilate's poisoned wine in the Master's basement. The Master and Margarita die, metaphorically, as Azazello watches their physical manifestations die. Azazello reawakens them, and they leave civilization with the Devil, while Moscow's cupolas and windows burn in the setting Easter sun. Because the Master and Margarita did not lose their faith in humanity, they are granted "peace" but are denied "light" — that is, they will spend eternity together in a shadowy yet pleasant region similar to Dante's depiction of Limbo. They have not earned the glories of Heaven, but do not deserve the punishments of Hell. As a parallel, the Master releases Pontius Pilate from eternal punishment, telling him he's free to walk up the moonbeam path in his dreams to Yeshua, where another eternity awaits.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه سپتامبر سال 1984 میلادیعنوان: مرشد و مارگریتا؛ نویسنده: میخائیل بولگاکف؛ مترجم: عباس میلانی؛ تهران، فرهنگ نشر نو؛ چاپ اول 1362 ؛ شابک: 9647443277؛ چاپ ششم 1385؛ هفتم 1386؛ چاپ دهم 1389؛در این اثر واقعیت و خیال، «رئال» و «سورئال» درهم تنیده شده، میتوان گفت: نوعی «رئالیسم جادویی روسی» ست. رمان بن مایه های فلسفی و اجتماعی دارد، با پس زمینه ای سیاسی، که به شکلی رقیق و غیرمستقیم یادآور دوران حکومت «استالین» است، با بیانی بسیار ظریف و هنرمندانه، و گاه شاعرانه، مسائل جامعه آن روزهای «شوروی» را طرح، و در سطح فلسفی، گرفتاریها و بحرانهای انسان معاصر را به خوانشگر گوشزد میکند. «مرشد و مارگریتا» رمانی مدرن است، که به نقل از «عباس میلانی»: به زعم بسیاری از منتقدان، به رمانهای کلاسیک پهلو میزند. پایان نقل. در این اثر سه داستان شکل میگیرند و پا به پای هم پیش میروند، و گاه این سه درهم تنیده، و دوباره باز میشوند، تا سرانجام به نقطه ای یگانه رسیده، باهم یکی میشوند. نخست: داستان سفر شیطان است به مسکو، در چهره ی پروفسوری خارجی، به عنوان استاد جادوی سیاه، به نام «ولند» به همراه گروه کوچک سه نفره: «عزازیل»، «بهیموت» و «کروویف». دوم: داستان «پونتیوس پیلاطس» و مصلوب شدن «عیسی مسیح» در «اورشلیم» است بر سر «جلجتا»، و سوم: داستان دلدادگی رمان نویسی بی نام، موسوم به «مرشد»، و ماجرای عشق پاک و آسمانی ایشان، به زنی به نام «مارگریتا». در این اثر، «بولگاکف» تنهایی ژرف انسان معاصر، در دنیای سکولار و خالی از اسطوره و معنویت معاصر را، گوشزد میکند. دنیایی که مردمانش دل باخته، و تشنه ی معجزه، جادو و چشم بندی هستند. گویی خسته از فضای تکنیک زده، و صنعتی معاصر، با ذهنی انباشته از خرافه، منتظر ظهور منجی، یا چشم به راه جادوگران افسانه ای هستند، و هنوز هم علم و مدرنیته را باور نکرده اند. ا. شربیانی

  • Jason
    2019-06-25 05:45

    The Chicago Tribune wrote: “The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative and poignant, and everywhere full of rich descriptive passages.”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? There are articles in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that have more successfully held my attention than this Bulgakovian bore. (Exhibit A)To start, the characterization in this book is near zero. Although there is a point where some barely discernable personality traits become apparent in one or two of the characters, by the time the reader makes it this far the show is nearly over. And if by curtain call the reader discovers Woland and his retinue to be even remotely interesting, it is not because of careful character construction. It’s more like the end of a really stuffy dinner party when you begin making your parting rounds. The thrill is in the palpability of finally being free of these people. Toodle-oo!And what is the author’s intent here, to single out the literary bureaucrats and the nouveaux riche? If so, the demographic is not effectively targeted. The Faustian demon who comes to wreak havoc across Moscow does so seemingly at random, with little adherence to agenda. Bartenders, ticket sellers, poets, little old ladies—they are all ambushed. It is clear someone needs to take a lesson from Omar Little, who “ain’t never put no gun on no citizen.”Whatever. I’m tired of even writing about this book. Before we part, though, I’ll leave you with several examples of yet another unworthy aspect of this novel: its ridiculous sentences. Here are some of my favorites.To tell the truth, it took Arkady Apollonovich not a second, not a minute, but a quarter of a minute to get to the phone.I ask this question in complete earnestness: is this supposed to be funny? I have absolutely no idea.Quite naturally there was speculation that he had escaped abroad, but he never showed up there either.Huh?The bartender drew his head into his shoulders, so that it would become obvious that he was a poor man.Yeah, I give. I don’t even pretend to understand what this means. Anyhoo, hey—it’s been a pleasure meeting you all; we should do this again soon. Toodle-oo!

  • Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο Αμούν Arnum
    2019-05-30 07:46

    «Sympathy for the Devil»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 LUCIFERcop 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 devil is asking for sympathy because he claims the reason he is not to blame is because the devil does not make you do anything. He simply sets the stage, which is the nature of his game. Look up those points in time. You should know most of them from history». Someone said. His name --> the devil --> humanity.A masterful song for a masterpiece... «Please allow me to introduce myselfI'm a man of wealth and tasteI've been around for a long, long yearStole many a man's soul to waste[[[[[[[And I was 'round when Jesus ChristHad his moment of doubt and painMade damn sure that PilateWashed his hands and sealed his fate]]]]]]]]]Pleased to meet youHope you guess my nameBut what's puzzling youIs the nature of my game[{I stuck around St. PetersburgWhen I saw it was a time for a changeKilled the czar and his ministersAnastasia screamed in vain}]I rode a tankHeld a general's rankWhen the blitzkrieg ragedAnd the bodies stankPleased to meet youHope you guess my nameAh, what's puzzling youIs the nature of my gameI watched with gleeWhile your kings and queensFought for ten decadesFor the gods they madeLet me please introduce myselfI'm a man of wealth and tasteAnd I laid traps for troubadoursWho get killed before they reached BombayPleased to meet youHope you guessed my name(Who who)But what's puzzling youIs the nature of my game, get down, babyPleased to meet youHope you guessed my nameBut what's confusing youIs just the nature of my game[{JUST AS EVERY COP IS A CRIMINAL AND ALL THE SINNERS SAINTS AS HEADS IS TAILSJUST CALL ME LUCIFER}][{Cause I'm in need of some restraintSo if you meet meHave some courtesyHave some sympathy, and some taste}]Use all your well-learned politesseOr I'll lay your soul to wastePleased to meet youHope you guessed my nameBut what's puzzling youIS THE NATURE OF MY GAME mean it, get down Tell me baby, what's my nameTell me honey, can you guess my nameTell me baby, what's my name[[[[[ tell you one time, YOU ARE TO BLAME ]]]]]Ο συγγραφέας μας καλεί σε ένα ταξίδι χωρίς όρια. Μια τρελή περιπέτεια και η απόλυτη ερωτική ιστορία. Πρωταγωνιστές και συνοδοιπόροι μας ο Διάβολος και ο Χριστός. Καταρρίπτουμε τα δεδομένα,τα χρηστά,τα χρονικά σύνορα,τα απλά. Μπαίνουμε στο μύθο του Φάουστ,αλλάζουμε τα Ευαγγέλια,κάνουμε μυστικιστικές αναζητήσεις,ενώνουμε τη φαντασία με την σοβαρότητα, εξομοιώνουμε το ρεαλισμό με τον τρυφερό λυρισμό και απο τα βάθη της μεσαιωνικής μαγείας μέχρι τη Σταλινική Μόσχα ζούμε τον διαβολικά παράφορο έρωτα του Μαίτρ και της Μαργαρίτας. Κοιταζόμαστε στον καθρέφτη βλέποντας τα πάθη και τις αμαρτίες μας. Μαθαίνουμε ακράδαντα να πιστεύουμε πως το μεγαλύτερο αμάρτημα για τον καλό και τον κακό Θεό είναι μόνο η ΔΕΙΛΙΑ. Αυτή τιμωρεί και τιμωρείται. Αυτή γεννάει την αιώνια δυστυχία της ανθρώπινης ύπαρξης. Ο φόβος και η δειλία είναι τα συστατικά για την πλήρη ανυπαρξία. Παίζουμε σε ένα δαιμονικό παιχνίδι με τους ανθρώπους και τους διαβόλους. Ο Σατανάς μαζί μας,δίπλα μας έχει εντολή απο το θεό να παίξει μαζί μας να μας προκαλέσει,να μας δείξει αλήθειες. Στη Μόσχα,στη Ναζαρέτ,στην Καινή διαθήκη,στη συνείδηση μας,στην πουλημένη ή κατεστραμμένη ψυχή μας βρίσκονται αιώνες επαναλήψεων ιστορικών,κοινωνικών,ατομικών μυθικών ρεαλισμών. Κάναμε περίπατο με τον Πόντιο Πιλάτο και τον Χα Νοτσρί. Ο Ιησούς τραγούδησε. Συνομιλήσαμε για πολλά με έναν γάτο και έναν κακάσχημο δαίμονα. Τα πλήθη ξετρελαμένα σε ομαδική παράκρουση τραγουδούσαν ασταμάτητα. Ο Σατανάς πάντα δίπλα μας έκανε χρέη οικοδεσπότη και μεταφραστή. Χορέψαμε,αγαπήσαμε,σκοτώσαμε. Ταξιδεύουμε πάντα με γεμάτη Σελήνη. Ποζάρουμε ως τέρατα χαμογελώντας στον καθρέφτη της ζωής. Μπροστά μας πάντα η Μαργαρίτα,ολόγυμνη και ευτυχισμένη σέρνει το χορό στην τελετή του διαβόλου και μας καθοδηγεί. Η επιλογή κατεύθυνσης πάντα δική μας ευθύνη. Κύριο χαρακτηριστικό μας η ελεύθερη βούληση. Βασικό μειονέκτημα η θνητότητα μας που ίσως θεραπεύεται μόνο με πάθη και αμαρτίες. Μια δοκιμή ή περισσότερες θα μας πείσουν. Καλή ανάγνωση. Πολλούς διαβολικούς ασπασμούς.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-06-10 05:51

    A poet "Homeless", as he calls himself, and a magazine editor, his gruff boss, Berlioz, are having a conversation, in a quiet, nondescript Moscow park, just before the start of the Second World War. Drinking, just harmless sodas, and discussing business, ordinary right? That's the last time in this novel, it is. An apparition appears in the sky, weird and unbelievable, a frightening seven foot transparent man, is seen floating above their heads, but only Berlioz spots it, he's obviously, the editor, a very sick man... Later a foreign, debonair stranger, joins them on the next bench, they start an uncomfortable, lively, rather dangerous conversation about Jesus ( in the days of Stalinist Russia ), if he really existed. The newcomer, a self -described black magic expert, tells the others, he saw Pontius Pilate and Jesus, personally ! Naturally his startled companions, look at him with a little disbelief, the two close friends , think Professor Woland ( the name is discovered afterwards) must be a spy or crazy, either way, authorities should be contacted immediately. Tragic results follow soon after, a wild, long, thrilling, death defying chase, through many city streets, ensues, strangest of all, a giant black Tom cat , who walks on two legs, and tries to get on a streetcar, but the heartless conductor, says no cats, refuses entry. But Behemoth , the big cat's name, does manage to get on the streetcar, they're very intelligent, resourceful, demanding animals. What the devil is going on ? The charismatic professor, and his talented entourage, give the best magic show, on stage, ever seen in Moscow, by an astounded audience, it's so spectacular, incomprehensible and not explainable, that all the city wants to go also . Still ticket lines are numerous blocks in length, and growing, too bad you missed it! Meanwhile a married woman, Margarita, having an affair with an obscure, poor author, writing a novel, she calls him "Master", you guessed right , the book is about the Roman Governor of Judaea, Pontius Pilate. Mirroring Bulgakov's life, the manuscript is banned... Countless, funny adventures follow, involving soaring humans, flying without a vehicle, the joys and terrors, looking down, you can imagine, and the destruction of fragile property, everywhere... men disappear, creepy events happening all around the vast city , and in the countryside.... The highlight is Satan's loathsome Ball, presided over by the stunned Margarita, as the incredibly reluctant Queen, attended mostly by the dead... eerie, bizarre and grotesque, to say the least. A dream like, unworldly, vague, melancholic atmosphere permeates. Flamboyant, imaginative fable, a real classic.

  • s.p
    2019-05-29 05:47

    Manuscripts don’t burn…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 witches on broomsticks, this is one of those rare books that can nestle its way into the deep places of almost any reader’s heart. Bulgakov lovingly loads each page with semi-auto-biographical frustrations and sharp irony as he unleashes the powers of hell upon Soviet Moscow.Inspired by the epic Faust in its various forms, notably the opera which our author frequently attended, Master and Margarita spins the story of a Mephistopheles, Woland, and his cohorts as they wreck havoc upon the Moscow. This allows Bulgakov to deliver a potent slap in the face to all facets of the obdurate Soviet society that oppressed him and his contemporaries. Specifically targeted are those of the arts, particularly the authors of the times who used their words to tow the party line and the literary critics whom Bulgakov detested. The bitter satire of these writers, many of which are thrust into an existential epiphany that they are nothing but pathetic frauds when compared to Russia’s heroes of the pen such as Alexander Pushkin. Mass mockery is made of the numerous beaurocrats and departments, the ease in which a citizen can be arrested, and endless other events that make the daily life of the 20's seem utterly absurd. It is no surprise countless characters find themselves in the asylum, the only place with order, comfort and logic in all of Bulgakov’s depiction of Moscow.Juxtaposed with Moscow is the tread of Pontius Pilate, which may or may not be the pages of the Master’s book. As the Master is not a far cry from Bulgakov himself, readers may notice a wonderful spiral into metafictional oblivion beginning here, and may begin to question the very notions and fabric of the novel they hold in their hands. Such as, who really is the intrusive narrator who whimsically guides us through this drama of demons, dreams and destiny, and where does the line between fiction and supposed-fact lie? However, I digress, and I return you to the tread of Pontius Pilate. Or, dear reader, shall I digress yet again, and direct your attention to the implicit irony inherent in the novel’s heroes: Woland (your charming Mephistopheles) and Pontius Pilate, the man who signed the death certificate of Jesus. Things are not always what they seem in this novel, and much of the dialogue and events are interestingly ironic. But yet, what is more flagrant to the upheld Soviet atheism than the devil himself preaching that Christ did in fact live? For how can they deny religion when the devil is right in their face? Bulgakov is a funny genius. And now, finally, I return to the Pilate thread, which itself is teeming with irony. For in the Pilate chapters, the reader will find a story that is seemingly biblical shorn of all religious implications and instead illuminating political plots and an attempt at a historically plausible event (the Master was a historian, or so he says) while the biblical allusions and quotations are found within the Moscow chapters instead. The ‘Satan’s Grand Ball’, of all places, has the most frequent biblical quotes and allusions. In a way, Pilate’s world is not unlike Bulgakov’s Moscow, full of dirty politics and persecution. On the other hand, the modern Moscow, which denies religion is full of religious symbolism (the 12 members seated at the MASSOLIT table, the severed head on a plate, etc). Each sentence of this book is a joy. The writing simply flows and is incredibly comical, plus the characters are very lovable. Woland’s demonic procession are highly entertaining and the reader will be compelled to keep reading just to see what chaos can be stirred by them as they flood the city. The Master, whom is a hero to all repressed authors, and his lovely Margarita are the gems within this story however. Although they lend their names to this novels title, these two lovers make up a very small portion to the story, and aren’t even relevant until part 2 when the book finds a groove and takes off like a cannon shot after wandering along the streets of Moscow for the first hundred and some odd pages. Always aware of his literary predecessors, Bulgakov leaves constant ‘scholarly jokes’ (as the translators put it) and allusions for a reader with an eye for Russian novels to discover. Anyone who is as enamored with the prose of Nikolai Gogol as I am should definitely read this novel. Gogol is apparently a large hero of Bulgakov’s and he makes several allusions as well as stylistic choices fashioned off this master of absurdity. There are many different translations of this book, I myself chose the Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O’Connor version published by Vintage (because really, you can’t go wrong with Vintage usually, not always but usually) because it offered a full version of the text and included many very helpful and insightful notes that really helped highlight the social context and the more apocryphal references.Nate has a wonderful reviewthat highlights the differences between the many translations and was very helpful in my choosing of this text. As I cannot read it as intended in it’s original language, I felt this was at least ‘second-grade fresh’.I cannot stress more how incredible this book is. It is just an all-around good time and a marvelous example of magical-realism used to its highest capacity. Despite it’s often dark and macabre nature, it is uplifting and laugh out loud funny. Plus, the ending is a kick to the head. I read much of this through the subways of Boston recently while on a much-needed and exceptional vacation, and, like Pilate and his crucified friend, the memory of both have become one. Bulgakov’s masterpiece has survived censorship and translation to make it to you, don’t pass it by!5/5‘Gods, my gods! How sad the earth is at eventide! How mysterious are the mists over the swamps. Anyone who has wandered in these mists, who has suffered a great deal before death, or flown above the earth, bearing a burden beyond his strength knows this. Someone who is exhausted knows this. And without regret he forsakes the mists of the earth, its swamps, its rivers, and sinks into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone…’Seriously. How incredible is that?

  • Agir(آگِر)
    2019-05-29 03:01

    مزخرف یعنی این: از لحاظ تازگی درجه دوتازگی تنها یک درجه دارد؛ درجه اول و آخرش یکی استاین کتاب نمایشی است از تقابل راستی و دروغ در جامعه روسیه استالین جامعه روسیه را دروغ و دزدی و تظاهر فرا گرفته و روشنفکران و منتقدان و نویسندگان هم به این کار دامن می زننداز آنان بیشتر از این انتظاری نمی توان داشتبا حقوق و مزایای زیادی که از دولت می گیرند و خانه گاریبایدوف(محل کلوب ...نویسندگان وابسته به دولت) با آن غذاهای اعلا و ارزان، برنده شدن آپارتمان و به قول دو زیردست ابلیس، این نویسندگان مانند آناناس در گرمخانه هستندآیا امکان دارد نویسنده آینده کتابهایی مثل "دون کیشوت" و "فاوست" در زیر سقف خانه گاریبایدوف باشد!؟و جالب اینکه وقتی ابلیس وارد این جامعه می شود مجبور می شود از حقیقت تقریبا مسلم وجود داشتن مسیح در برابر روشنفکران دفاع کندو بعد ابلیس نمایشی محشر برگزار می کند ابلیس در صحنه نمایش به مردم پول و لباس های زیبا و بظاهر واقعی می دهد و بعد که آنها واریته را ترک کردند و وارد خیابان شدند لباسشان غیب می شود و نیمه لخت می گردند. پول ها هم به چیزهای دیگری تبدیل می شود این نمایش پر از کنایه و استعاره است و این کنایه از وعده هایی رویایی است که توسط دولت و نویسندگان و ... به خورد مردم داده می شود ولی همه آنها دروغی بیش نیستندحرف بولگاکف با دو طبقه اجتماعی است: روشنفکران و مردم عادیوی می خواهد به روشنفکران و نویسندگان یاد بدهد که حقیقت مهمترین چیز است:نتیجه را این چنین بیان کردشاعر عاقبت به این حقیقت رسید که شعرهایش بی ارزشند چون به هیچکدامشان باور نداشته است و در نتیجه هیچگاه مانند پوشکین مشهور نخواهند شد!بعد از نقد طبقه روشنفکران به سراغ مردمی می رود که فک می کنند خوش بخت اندهمسرانی که نمی دانند شوهرشان خیانت می کنندو مردمی که نمی توانند ماهی و اغذیه اعلا بخرنددر فروشگاهی به پیرمردی خارجی بر می خوریم که ثروتمندتر از بقیه است وهمراهش کلی دلار یعنی ارز خارجی دارد. همچنین نمی تواند براحتی به زبان روسی حرف بزند ولی وقتی !!!در خطر می افتد می بینم که به روسی فصیح درخواست کمک می کندداشتن ارز در روسیه زندان دارد و ولی برای بعضی ها نهو پیرمرد ادای خارجی ها را در می آورد تا مردم عادی چیزی نفهمند که چرا وی پولدار است و آنها نه!؟:کمی در مورد داستانمرشد مردی است که داستانی در مورد مسیح نوشته و می بیند منتقدان معروف نه براساس صداقت بلکه با ریا به داستانش حمله کرده انداین باعث می شود کارش به اندوه و جنون بکشداما در زندگی او که بی شباهت به مسیح نیست، منجی دیگری وجود دارد: یک زنو بولگاکف هم مانند ساراماگو در "کوری"، تنها راه نجات را در وجود زنی شجاع و فداکار می بیند..زنی که برای بدست آوردن عشقش، حاضر است به مهمانی ابلیس برودو یادمان نرود که ترس بزرگترین گناه است:تخیل و خلاقیت نویسندهفضای سوررئال این کتاب فوق العاده لذت بخشهبولگاکف در هر صحنه ای چیزی خلق می کنه که آدم انگشت به دهان می مونهدر یک کلام، محشرررره:نتیجهنوشتن کتاب 12 سال طول کشیده و این خود نشان می دهد که بولگاکف وسواس زیادی بخرج داده تا کتابش اجازه چاپ بگیرد. شاید به همین خاطر است که کتاب پر از تلمیح و استعاره و کنایه استاما باز کتاب اجازه چاپ پیدا نکرده و بعد مرگش وقتی قسمتی از آن سانسور شد چاپ گردیدبرای درک بیشتر کتاب و کنایه های آن، باید شناخت بیشتری از جامعه آن زمان روسیه داشت، که متاسفانه چیزهای زیادی از آن نمی دانم و جاهایی برام بصورت سوال باقی ماندقسمتی از کتاب چیشتی مجیور را که «ماموستا هه ژار» برای درمان بیماری اش به شوروی رفته :بود را در اینجا می آورم که برای من بسی تعجب برانگیز بود جداي از سياستمداران، مردم عادي كاري به سياست ندارند و تصور مي‌كنند سعادت تنها در شوروي و زندگي كردن در آن است. از نگاه آنها مردم در ساير كشورها تحت تأثير نظام سرمايه‌داري، از زندگي انساني به دور و با كمترين بهانه‌ اي مجازات مي‌شونداز من پرسيدند: تو كارگري؟ـ نخير مغازه‌ اي شخصي دارمـ چند كارگر زير دست تو كار مي‌كنند؟ـ هيچ، تنها هستمـ باور نمي‌ كنیم. چقدر درآمد داري؟ـ به اندازه‌ي معاش روزانهـ چه دروغ بزرگي؟يك روز در باغچه‌ي آسايشگاه، زني که پزشك كودكان بود، تكه گیاهي سبز از زمين كند : و گفتـ در عراق چنين چيزهايي داريد؟ـ نه، آنجا نظام سرمايه داري است و گياهان سبز نمي‌شوندـ واقعاً‌ ما در بهشت هستيم. اين همه گياه را مي‌بينيفتحي (دوست تبریزی هه ژار) به فارسی گفت چرا واقعيت را به او نمي‌ گويي؟...ـ بگذار با همين روياي خوش سر کنداگر چه در ماركسيسم دين جايي ندارد، اما تعجب مي‌ كردم وقتي مي‌ديدم يك دين مستقل ظهور كرده و آن لنين پرستي است. روزها و شب‌ ها هزاران نفر به زيارت جسد موميايي او در گور شيشه‌ اي مي‌ آمدند. در هيچ كشور مسلماني به بزرگان دين، آنقدر اهميت داده نشده است. هنگامي كه درس‌ هاي كتب ابتدايي روسي را مي‌ خواندم به بسياري از فرمايشات لنين بر مي‌ خوردم. بسياري از آنها را از بر كرده بودم چون عيناً ترجمه‌ ي جملات پيغمبر اسلام از زبان لنين فقيد بود

  • Ilse
    2019-06-06 05:01

    Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes! She, by the way, insisted afterwards that it wasn’t so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other, never having seen each other… 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 me to read Goethe’s Faust. Somewhere around 1930, the devil and his cronies descend on Moscow, putting the entire city on edge by their diabolical humor and ditto magic tricks. The authorities can only look on, powerless. Before the arrival of the devil, a “Master” wrote a novel about Pontius Pilate (this serene novel within the novel is entirely integrated in the story), which was dismissed by the regime, therefore sending the Master into a mental asylum. Margarita, the Master’s clandestine lover, makes a pact with the devil to save her companion writer. If she agrees to act as a hostess at the witches' Sabbath of the devil- naked - the devil will free her master, and Margarita and her Master will be together for all eternity and live happily ever after.By far one of the most brilliant novels I have ever read, these insipid sentences were all I was capable of writing about this astounding and greatly allegorical novel when I got a few lines in a free newspaper 10 years ago in order to promote reading, and specifically to lure ((hence the revealing of Margarita’s nakedness) readers into reading what has been thematized by the paper as former cult books - now The Master and Margarita is strongly established amongst the greatest Russian novels of the twentieth century. My copy has been residing with friends for 11 years now, and noticing write-ups on it popping up this forum almost every day, I am craving to revisit it.(Paintings by Danila Zhirov)

  • William1
    2019-06-27 05:54

    This is a romp. While reading it I saw somewhere that Salman Rushdie said it was a major influence for him in the writing of The Satanic Verses. I have an inkling, unconfirmed at this point, that Gabriel García Márquez andItalo Calvino were also influenced by it. Several things about it surprise me. No doubt it's loaded with political subtext about Stalin's Russia; it was written during the years of the worst crimes of Stalin's regime. I speak here of "dekulakization," in which some 20 to 50 million people died, many succumbing to cannibalism, and the Moscow show trials so carefully dissected by Robert Conquest in his The Great Terror. But I was oblivious to any such subtext while reading this novel. What struck me was the lively picture it gives one of Moscow in the 1930s. The tenor of the city, its street life, not to mention the look of the place and the landscape surrounding it. The parks and public spaces. I had seen Moscow before in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, but that was late 19th century Moscow, a provincial city parroting Parisian culture and language. I also remember--how can I forget?--the sinister Moscow of Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago. But here we have a Moscow bursting with life, with people enjoying their lives. Yet, it's also a Moscow that aspires to world dominance. It was that contradiction that was always foremost in my mind as I read. One wonders how Bulgakov did it? Turning out this fabulist masterpiece in the midst of such craziness, such instability. But all that aside the book is finally unlike anything I have ever read before. Description is really the book's strength: action and imagery. There's no plot to speak of. (You can look elsewhere in these reviews for a description of the storyline.) It's character driven. And it never flags. An absolutely astonishing book.For devotees only (with thanks to Graeme, see Comments below)

  • Steve
    2019-06-10 04:42

    There once was a book praised as boffThat caused others to pan it and scoffSo who wrote this thingWhence sentiments swing?T’was a Russian they called Bulgakov.The culture was smothered by StalinHe purged those he felt failed to fall in.So how to respondSans magical wand?With satire, to show it’s appallin’.The book has been said to have layersWith multiple plotlines and players.There’s good and there’s badAnd witches unclad.Can naked truth sate the naysayers?The Devil’s own minions had power.Blind fools in their presence would cower.And smug Party folksWere easy to hoax.No tears, though, when bureaucrats sour.To further the key dialecticTwixt good that’s in man versus septic,Comes Christ to the foreThrough Pilate’s back door,Though this prefect’s well-nigh eclectic.In Moscow amidst the commotionWe realize a somewhat strange notion:M and M from the titleWeren’t all that vital,But she, at least, showed love’s devotion.The Master, whose job was to writeShared Bulgakov’s tyrannized plightDo manuscripts burn?That’s something we learn.The hope is that art survives might.It’s funny how evil can blurJust read this and you may concurThe Devil may stirBut you might preferOl’ Satan to Anton Chigurh.And how does good shine without bad?Is bad the worst trait to be had?Pilate’s regretful;Others were fretful – Mikhail cursed the cowardly cad.It’s odd to choose this review style –We’re not on the Emerald Isle.These aren’t the best themesJust fits to rhyme schemesThat target a Russ-celtophile.This was a group read for me and I’m guessing nine out of any ten clicks this review gets will be from fellow members. So when I say it’s no easy matter to add anything that’s not been said better elsewhere, most of you will know what I mean. That’s especially true with this group, loaded with smart people who’ve already done their reviews. The group (which we all thank Kris and Mary for running so well) has been great for providing discussions and links to help interpret the symbols, themes and historical context. But this, too, makes original thoughts about it hard to come by. Anyway, this is my justification for punting, and instead trying (perhaps too hard) just to be different.I will say that I never really lost myself in the story nor cared about the thinly drawn characters. Maybe it’s not meant to be that kind of book. The greater pleasure was in trying to figure out the different elements of the allegory, what the broader questions were, and how Stalinist oppression may have driven it. The fact that this emerged in the 60’s as a samizdat well after Bulgakov’s death in 1940 was part of the appeal. The axe he was grinding to counter the shush on creative freedom continues to resonate. It’s easy to pose questions: What does the devil (Woland) represent? What is Bulgakov saying about Stalinist Russia; the general population; the arts community/intelligentsia? Is there a religious angle? What about moral judgment; free will vs. determinism; the nature of man?I won’t attempt to answer these because 1) I don’t want to supply any spoilers, and 2) I’m not sure I can.Others have done a much better job addressing the main themes: good vs. evil, courage vs. cowardice, and related to that, artistic freedom vs. toeing the line. About the only motif I haven’t seen mentioned is the contrast between felines and canines. The big, black, humanized cat in Woland’s retinue was like a badly behaved Marx brother. As an example of his character, he tried cheating at chess. Conversely, Pilate’s dog was nearly fearless and ever faithful. I’m surprised that cat owners have not been more vocal in their protests against such an unfavorable contradistinction.Three stars is a cop-out, I know. I was caught between extremes. The story and characters failed to draw me in, but it was an interesting exercise in interpretation.

  • Lyn
    2019-06-08 02:55

    The Master and Margarita by Soviet era writer Mikhail Bulgakov seems to inspire strong emotions though most critics and commentators have been impressed with the fantastic satire. Le Monde listed the novel number 94 on its 100 books of the century. I found it absurd, outrageous, inconsistent, but for the most part entertaining. 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. The book is alternately set in 1930s Moscow and Jerusalem during the execution of Yeshua Ha-Notsri, a translation as Jesus. Pontius Pilate is an integral part of both settings as an acting character in his own time and as the subject of an unburnable manuscript by “The Master” in Moscow. The premise is that Satan and his demonic retinue has come for a visit to Moscow and this visit is used by Bulgakov as a means to critically observe the Soviet Russians. One of the most endearing scenes was the Satanic Ball hosted by Margarita and attended by the celebrated damned from Hell. Bulgakov's theme of the relationship between good and evil is a strong message that works well from the spirited, forced perspective allegory. It has been suggested that the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy for the Devil” was influenced by the novel and it also seems clear that Bulgakov was himself influenced by Faust. All in all, this is an important work, though it may not be timeless as many of the references to Soviet life were not clear to this 21st century suburban American. This is one I may try to read again in a year or so as I may need to think about it more.

  • Mike Puma
    2019-06-27 08:44

    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 censored version, there would have been only 4.637 titles to haunt me—I wish I’d read the censored version.) And now the list is down to four titles—my personal List of Shame.Not since On the Road have I been so certain that a book would, indeed, go on forever. On the plus side, it’s been two years since I’ve run into a title I’ve disliked this much. While most of my GR friends have enjoyed this and rated it highly [congratulations, good GR friends] to them I feel I should apologize, for me, this was merely a tedious, burlesque, Soviet-era fantasy and satire of life in Stalin’s shadow in general, and in the Soviet art community in particular. The interweaving of x-tian myth gives it premise, but only further contributes to its absurdity. Does anyone remember those pictures from our youth—those ones with objects hidden within the picture—a dog composed of the leaves of a tree, a face hidden in the grain of a wooden barn, blades of grass being the whiskers of a cat which one could see clearly if the picture were turned slightly? Remember those pictures? This novel is perfect for those who loved those pictures (well, perfect for those who aren’t I). A perfect opportunity for those who love thinking, “this must be xxx” “that must mean yyy” “oooooh, they’re headed to the river [again], this MUST be a baptism”—conjuring the worst memories of Thomas C. Foster ’s simplistic approach to literature.Apparently, this title matters. I encourage everyone to read it. With the same tongue firmly embedded in cheek that you must imagine when I tell you to read the complete works of Shakespeare [or anyone else] or that for a good time one should view the entire oeuvre of Ingmar Bergman . I was disappointed from its spoiler-filled Introduction through every single page which followed. Whenever I hear the words: Soviet Era, I immediately think, “bleak, ugly”—and this novel goes nowhere near shunting those words aside. Some rating approaching 2 stars—I was going to give it a 1-star rating, but the ending merited another fraction of a star—not the telling of the ending, which felt very much as though the author just kept writing until he could think of one, but rather, the FACT that an ending exists, it was way too long a time in coming.My humble apologies to those who love this book. Peace. Out.

  • BlackOxford
    2019-06-24 06:39

    Soviet Ghost StoriesStories, 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 casual unconsciousness. We then learn to share meaning and thereby create language and societies. We call this culture and have little idea what it means or how it works.What happens when stories, particularly stories about stories, are inhibited or forbidden? The most important result: society goes mad. And that part of society which becomes most mad is that of the professional story-tellers who, because they are the carriers of the essential human and cultural talent, become less than human. They are unable to tell the stories needed by the rest of us and enter a dream-like state of inexplicability and meaninglessness. The Master and Margarita is obviously a satire, a purposeful distortion of language to demonstrate its corrupt use. It is also obviously meant to recall the necessity for religious stories in a society that has degraded and mocked them. But for me the book is less about the corruption of Soviet society and its attitude toward the Christian religion and more about the even more fundamental beliefs that are the unspoken tenets of story-telling, that is to say, the philosophy of literature. In an important sense, literature is indistinguishable from religion. Religion cannot exist without it; but it is likely that literature could exist without religion. Literature precedes religion. Bulgakov notices this in his story of Christ before Pilate. “These good people,” the prisoner began, hastily added “Hegemon” and continued: “learnt nothing and muddled up all I said. In general, I’m beginning to worry that this muddle will continue for a very long time. And all because he records what I say incorrectly.” This is a direct attack on the ‘veracity’ of the gospel of Matthew. Bulgakov here implicitly contrasts religion against literature in his expanded and reinterpreted version of the biblical story of Jesus's condemnation and death; and he comes down decisively for literature as the more fundamental mode of thinking. The only thing beyond a text is... another text.This is not to say that literature should cause trouble for religion. The use of language is itself a religious experience even when it is used to parody religion as in Bulgakov's Communion of Sinners Ball and demonic Eucharist. Literature, consequently, exists as a spiritual (and social) rather than a material (and merely sensory) process. Materialism, of a Marxist, Capitalist, Scientific or any other sort, tells a story that cannot account for where its story comes from. Its causes cannot be enumerated and accounted for. Such a story is deficient and incomplete.Stories do not appear to be 'in nature' but a they do comment upon nature. It is not inaccurate to say that they come from 'elsewhere.' And it is this elsewhere that is both the source and guarantor of the integrity of the stories that get told. Without the existence of this infinitely fecund elsewhere, the realm of the spirit, there is no way to verify the stories we tell ourselves. As Bulgakov has a psychiatrist point out to one writer, "People can go around telling all sorts of stories! But you don’t have to believe everything!”It is this spiritual elsewhere that Bulgakov has intruding on and disrupting Russian civil society. In time-honoured fashion, the intruders are portrayed as devils who are able to exploit the presumptuous conceits of this society, especially those of the literary elite of the MASSOLIT, the state-run literary guild. It is the writers who sense this intrusion first and it is they who are quite properly driven mad - or to their death - by it. Bulgakov's demonic characters are up-front in their challenge to cultural reality. They make a reductio ad absurdum by denying the reality of language and the society and the culture associated with it. "The seductive mystics lie, there are no Caribbean Seas on earth, and desperate filibusters do not sail them, and a corvette does not give chase, and cannon smoke does not spread above the waves. There is nothing, and never was there anything either!" This challenge of course passes over the heads of the Soviet Citizenry.From the writers, the plague induced by constrained and distorted story-telling spreads to minor government officials. The local housing officer is the first casualty and he instinctively recognises the problem, "Comrades!... We’ve got unclean spirits in our building!” And he's right: the spiritual cannot be excluded, only deformed, by telling a story that denies the spirit. Such denial is patently a confirmation of what is being denied.It is through entertainment, 1930's stage vaudeville, that the condition is spread through the wider population. The presumably hidden or at least repressed culture of Soviet consumer society is shown for what it is - impressed as deeply as in any capitalist society by the linguistic distortions of brand names and wealth without purpose. The 'watching mass' has no idea that it is being shown itself, literally exposed, in all its mendacious cupidity.Even love, ultimately the cohesive force of marriage and family as well as society, is a product of language. It appears from that spiritual elsewhere, "as a murderer leaps out from under the ground in a side street” for the Master. Love may start with a look but it doesn’t progress beyond fantasy unless the look is the beginning of a shared story, interpreted by Margarita as an eternally fated event. The object that keeps them together while apart is of course the manuscript of the Master's book, an alternative gospel.If the medieval troubadours are not enough evidence of the cultural determination of the meaning of love, surely the varieties of love articulated in Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and accepted by generations since, clinch the case. Any society that attempts to limit what love, in all its variants, might mean is doomed by its own contradictions; and not just the Soviet variety. But it is Bulgakov’s conception of divine love that I find the most disturbing aspect of the piece.Any theologically aware person must at some point confront the problem of evil. Evil demands a story. The monotheistic religions subscribe to the story line that not only the Creator but his creation are ‘good.’ How then does the obvious evil in the world come about? The existence of evil is typically explained with one of several largely inadequate theories: Evil is a spontaneous development of a rebellious force against the goodness of God and His works; Evil is not an autonomous force but merely the localised absence of the divine within creation; Evil is actually inherent in a world that was formed by a subsidiary god.This last theory has a number of designations but is usually associated with the third century CE Persian Mani. So-called Manichaeism is the perennial thinking persons solution to the problem of evil since it accounts for the available facts of life without the need to invent a number of questionable metaphysical entities. It needs only one such beast - the flawed demiurge, a satanic figure who made a few mistakes in the way he shaped the cosmos and we have been dealing with the consequences ever since.It becomes apparent in The Master and Margarita that Bulgakov rejects all the classical theological explanations for evil, especially Manichaeism. But the resulting theology is not easy to digest. He suggests that what appears as evil, the work of Satan in the world, is in fact the disguised work of God. Bulgakov's contemporary, Carl Jung, termed this the Shadow and conceived it as an integral part of the divine. In The Master and Margarita, Bulgakov echoes Jung exactly in Satan's criticism of the evangelist Matthew: "Would you be so kind as to give a little thought to the question of what your good would be doing if evil did not exist, and how the earth would look if the shadows were to disappear from it? After all, shadows come from objects and people."In other words: God is Satan; Satan is God. And God/Satan cannot be avoided or escaped. Even within evil, God is present. He is present among the atrocious evil-doers of his demonic ball; among the crass bureaucrats and proletarian graspers in the audience of the Black Magician; among the scammers and players of the system who try to get one-up on their fellow citizens; in Pilate and in Judas. And presumably God is present and active therefore within and through Soviet society despite official protestations to the contrary. (The idea of Soviet Moscow as Paradise Lost is perhaps the greatest irony/truth that Bulgakov expresses in the book)Of course Bulgakov does not make a theological argument. He tells a story. But in this story Satan as well as his devoted angels transform suddenly into their opposites, caring agents of human well-being; then into clownish Loki or Coyote trinitarian figures whose function is to play the fool with social institutions. There is no logic that can capture this divine turnaround from evil to love and play. But there is a narrative in which it can be described, and, on the basis of that description, be believed. Bulgakov’s technique, as well as the substance of his story, is not very different from, for example, the story of Exodus in which the God of Israel both allows the imprisonment of his people and then saves them from the situation he allowed to happen. The story also presents an alternative account of creation itself - as a text produced and protected by Adam and Eve, a couple which is bound together by it. Going beyond biblical bounds, religion itself is accounted for by the Master, the new Adam: "Of course, when people have been completely pillaged, like you and me, they seek salvation from a preternatural force!" And he is immediately corrected by Margarita, the new Eve with eminent practicality, "Preternatural or not preternatural –isn’t it all the same? I’m hungry.”The theme, almost a running joke, is clear: The Lord giveth and the Lord take the away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. The situation is dire but not hopeless. Exile from the Garden means freedom as well as toil. This is a theme that demands great faith to assert. More than I have had at times certainly.

  • Ian
    2019-06-01 08:58

    Swimming Against the StreamThis 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 different. It was a new translation, and I was initially skeptical about its merits.Ultimately, I think I was unduely critical of the translation. At the beginning, I read, almost seeking fault in the text. I did find it, too, stiff and wooden expressions, but after a while I willed myself to overlook them.If I continued to swim against the stream, I would never let this work win me over again. I stopped struggling, and let the stream take me to the source of its meaning.After a while, I stopped noticing that the carpet was frayed or that the paint on the wall was chipped. It started to feel like a lounge room again and I got comfortable on my couch.And so I entered the dream world that is “TM&M” and started to take it all in again.All of My HeartAt its heart, “TM&M” is a satire about the Soviet Union at the peak of its oppression in the 1930’s.Stalin ascended to power in 1927 and immediately took drastic steps to drag the Soviet economy into the twentieth century. Collectivisation saw major inroads into personal and creative freedom, while the rest of the world looked on, not without its own problems, moving towards a second great war.The arts were expected to reinforce the culture of Socialism, and Socialist Realism was imposed on artists.The formal radicalism that had flowered at the same time as the Revolution was clipped and discarded.Only, one Mikhail Bulgakov found that Socialist Realism was not the appropriate vehicle for the tales he wanted to tell.Between 1928 and his death in 1940, Bulgakov started to construct his story his own way.He was capable of descriptive realism, but he had also mastered the fantasy stylings of fairy tales and the parable structure of the Bible.These styles flew around his head and poured onto the page, only to be rejected, altered, rearranged, burnt, rewritten, reconstructed and published in different iterations.His progress was plagued by both institutional and personal censorship.Still, the structure and substance of what he wanted to say was firmly etched in his mind.After one spate of burning, when he sat down to rewrite it, his wife asked how he could remember it. According to the translators, his reply was, “I know it by heart.”Bulgakov died at the age of 49, before he could see his work published. He gave this work all of his heart, he committed it to memory and then into writing, so that those around him could have the heart required to change what they saw around them.Tearing the Fabric of Socialist SocietyThe Soviet Union of the 1930’s was supposed to be a product of Scientific Socialism and Historical Materialism.The Materialist conception of History predicted and dictated that Socialism would one day overthrow Capitalism in each country. However, the timing in each country was not certain, which left scope for the subjective intervention of a Revolutionary Vanguard.The more premature the Revolution, the more despotic would be the measures required to retain power against Counter-Revolutionary forces.The firm hand of Stalin did not waver from the task, indeed he seemed to thrive on it. He turned society on itself. He turned child against parent, sibling against sibling, friend against friend, lover against lover, neighbor against neighbor, student against teacher, writer against artist.In the process, he destroyed the fabric of society, the threads that hold it together. Love, trust, respect, truth.In their place grew fear, hatred, suspicion, paranoia, falsity, propaganda, opportunism, careerism, cynicism.Ironically, or perhaps intentionally, the security forces that preserved the State were responsible for the greatest insecurity in the people it was designed to serve.Normality in a Normative StateSocial and political norms were imposed from above by the State.Normality wasn’t spontaneous, it was State-sanctioned.The normal ceased to be individual and became a dictate of the State.The normal was captive to the social norms of the collective.The ordinary was subjected to order and became “ordernary”.Totalitarianism destroyed things of ordinary beauty by turning them into the mundane.The State Defies the ImaginationBulgakov couldn't help but point out that the Emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes.He didn’t just do this in his work. His vocal stance made many enemies in the Socialist Political and Cultural Establishment, and it’s a wonder he didn’t simply vanish before his premature death.However, his enemies inflicted the greatest damage possible on an author by denying him the right to publish and therefore denying him the lifeblood that every artist needs, an audience.Thus, Bulgakov died a broken man, and potentially with a broken heart.Yet, he had the foresight to make his own plight the implicit subject of his novel. The Master of the title is much like Bulgakov personally. Margarita is much like his third wife, the wife at the time of his death.Equally, the Moscow that he wrote of was much like the Moscow of the 30’s.The State was a Totalitarian Dictatorship that had destroyed civil society and turned people upon themselves.Truth was manipulated. People hear what is supposed to be the truth, and if they have the courage, proclaim, “That cannot be.”What they hear doesn’t sound right. So life under Totalitarianism, life in a Totalitarian State defies the imagination.Imagination Defies the StateBulgakov recognized that the converse was also true.Whatever the personal cost, it takes an act of the imagination, an act of fantasy to defy a Totalitarian State.Totalitarianism wants control of your mind. Therefore, you can only defy Totalitarianism in your mind.To defy it otherwise is to put your life at risk. To do so inevitably means that you will vanish or disappear.Ultimately, this is why Bulgakov’s story is structured as a fantasy or a fairy tale or a parable.It is as powerful as George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984”.Even if the man, the author, is broken, the power of his fantasy, the product of his imagination cannot be broken, at least once it has escaped captivity (or destruction) and been published.As the novel states, perhaps optimistically, “you cannot burn a manuscript.”The power of Bulgakov’s fantasy, its fantastic narrative structure (in both senses of the word “fantastic”) was what allowed him to memorise and reconstruct it and preserve it for posterity.The fantasy is constructed with the vividness of a fairy tale that can be learned and told orally, so that its outline cannot be forgotten.It can be reconstructed after consecutive burnings.Its memorability constituted its greatest danger, the greatest threat to the State.It was engraved in and out of the Soul of Man under Socialism. It originates as and becomes and remains an act of the collective imagination, the collective consciousness.There, it cannot be destroyed.This is the secret of its power and its danger to the State.The Power of LoveThe Master and Margarita are at the heart of Bulgakov’s story, and theirs is a love story.It would be tempting to comment about the redemptive power of Love.However, I think that might miss the point.Bulgakov’s point is that Love is a natural quality of civil society.Love is one of the primary qualities that suffers under Totalitarianism."TM&M" is not so much a story about the redemptive power of Love, it is about the rescue of Love, and the restoration of Love to its natural place in Society.There can be no Society, no Family, no Individuals without Love.If you quash Love, you destroy Society, the Family and the Individual.And this is what Stalin had achieved in the Soviet Union under Communism.Ironically, Socialism was conceived as a Political Philosophy of Fraternal Love.Just as it was inspired by Liberty and Equality, two values promoted by the French Revolution, it valued Fraternity, a value that is less understood and discussed.Fraternity promotes the value not just of the Individual, but of the Individual in Society.It is concerned with the coexistence of Individuals and the relationship between them.In this sense, it is compatible with the social teachings of Jesus Christ, when divorced from the spiritual and religious content."Cowardice is the Most Terrible of Vices"In a way, Bulgakov contrasted Christ and Stalin, Christianity and Socialism (in practice), through the novel written by the Master.In 1930’s Moscow, the Totalitarian State went so far as to deny the existence not just of God, but of Christ.Whether or not you believe Jesus was the Son of God, it’s arguable that Jesus lived and that Pontius Pilate reluctantly had him killed on behalf of Caesar.Pilate personally seems to have questioned whether he should be killed, but he lacked the courage to allow him to live.In ordering his crucifixion, he almost killed off a philosophy of Fraternal Love, just as Stalin later destroyed faith in Socialism by attacking the Fraternalism at its heart.Pilate lacked the courage to defy Caesar. Likewise, few stood up to Stalin and survived.In this sense, both Pilate and the Soviet Union prove Bulgakov’s assertion that "Cowardice is the most terrible of vices."Many Soviets were simply ignorant of the truth, whether willfully or not.It is difficult to make them culpable in a Society where they might have disappeared, if they poked their head above the crowd.Bulgakov reserves his greatest scorn for those who did know the Truth.In his eyes, there is no greater coward than someone who knows the Truth and denies it.A Flight of FantasyUltimately, in order to seek the Truth and to find Love, the Master and Margarita must fly away from Moscow.To the State, they constitute a flight risk. It takes the power of flight to liberate them from Totalitarianism. It takes a flight of fantasy to escape. They have to flee to be free.Again, this message is at the heart of the danger of Bulgakov’s tale.The Soviet Union could not tolerate a message that suggested that salvation might be elsewhere, whether on Earth or in Heaven.For those who remain, the salvation of the Master and Margarita is a folly.Yet, each full moon, the researcher Ivan Homeless can see that it is the world of Socialism that is a folly.In the world of the Master and Margarita, in the world of Love, the luminary Moon rules and plays, while on Earth, in the world of Socialism, lunacy prevails.Falling in LoveIt’s interesting that the character who offers the Lovers an escape route is Professor Woland, the Satan character.While I might have misread Bulgakov’s intentions, it seems that Woland and Satan don’t so much represent Evil as Free Will, the ability to make up your own mind, notwithstanding the dictates of the State or Religion.This is perhaps the relevance of Bulgakov’s Epigraph from Goethe's "Faust", in which Mephistopheles says:"I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good."There is a suggestion that there is only one force or power, and that it consists of both good and evil.Life therefore is a product of the internal dialectical operation of good and evil.Each of us can only hope that the product of the interaction is Love, that our Fall (whether graceful or not, whether a Fall from Grace or towards it) is to fall in Love, as it was for the Master and Margarita.If you fall, may you fall into the arms of Love.And when you do, may you remember the Master and Margarita. And the man who died at age 49 trying to tell us the Truth. The Master's Wish for Margarita We kiss with our wordsThey are the lips of our mindsWhich have become one.SOUNDTRACK:Buzzcocks - "Ever Fallen in Love?" (Live at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, Manchester in June, 1978): - "A Song From Under The Floorboards": Hitchcock - "Madonna of the Wasps": Hitchcock - "Birdshead": Hitchcock - "Arms of Love": - "Arms of Love [Robyn Hitchcock Cover]": - "All Of My Heart": Goes to Hollywood - "The Power Of Love": Goes to Hollywood - "Two Tribes": Goes to Hollywood - "Relax": Stones - "Sympathy For The Devil": Stones - "Sympathy For The Devil [Live in St Louis on the 1998 Bridges to Babylon Tour]":

  • ميقات الراجحي
    2019-06-08 10:05

    وكأنها نحتت من صخر.. فنان عاهدها بالمراجعة والتدقيق من حينٍ لآخر لتخرج لنا بهذه الصورة النهائية. لوحة فنية وغيمة من مطر وإعصار تربك القارئ حد الجنون هذه رواية من روح ونبض.من أعظم ما قرأت في الأدب الروسي الأدب الذي يحتل مكانة مرموقة لا ينازعه عليها ويتجاوزه مؤخرًا أدب المناطق اللاتينية، وقد منعت في أول ظهورها لسنوات طويلة وهذا من سمات الأدب الروسي إبان العهد السوفيتي. من قرأ في أدبيات الإتحاد السوفييتي (1922 – 1991م) سيعرف الكثير من رمزيات هذا العمل العبقري ولماذا جابهه الإتحاد بالمنع سواء كان مصدر المنع الجهاز القمعي في الدولة – السياسي – أو الصوت الديني – الكنيسة. رغم عدم تمسك الدولة في العهد السوفيتي بالدين كركن أساسي ضمن كياناتها.أذكر فيما كنت قد قرأت في (مذكرات آنا غريغوريغنا)، و(نساء في حياة ديستوفسكي) وبعض الكتابات المتفرقة عن المرأة الروسية والكثير من الدور الذي لعبته الزوجة الروسية في الأدب الروسي وأقصد بذلك زوجات الأدباء ودورهم في نتاج أزواجهم ومساعدتهم ونشر أعمال بعضهم بعد وفاتهم مثلما فعلت أرملة ميخائيل بولغاكوف ،(إيلينا سيرجييفنا) في هذا العمل العظيم الذي أمتد تنقيحه لسنوات طويلة لتأكد مقولة زوجها (المخطوطة / الكتاب لا يحترق)الرواية كنتاج روسي أظنها ركيزة أساسية فيه وكانت منحى لما جاء بعدها من أعمال أدبية فنحن نتحدث عن عمل تأسيسي. يتناول زيارة (فنتازييه) يقوم بها الشيطان (فولند) للبلاط الروسي خلال الحقبة السوفيتية (الثلاثينات : يبدو أنه يخص عهد جوزيف ستالين 1922 - 1952م) ليثبت لهم وجود الشيطان وكذلك المسيح، ولا أنكر هذه من الأجزاء المزعجة في الرواية مزعجة بعض الشيء بالسحر الأسود والخرافات والرقص والروحانيات والدين والإلحاد والخيال، وظهور قوي لشخصية (بيلاطس البنطي) الرجل الذي تذكر كتب اللاهوت المسيحي بأنه الموكول بمحاكمة عيسى (يشوع الغناصري كما في الرواية) والذي سيتواجهان معًا في أحد فصول الرواية، وهو من قال بصلبه كإتكاء تاريخي على الدور اليهودي في هذه المحاكمة ودور كهنة الهيكل (ق 1 م)، وكذلك في الرواية الكثير من الفنتازيا التي تحتاج الكثير من التركيز.[image error]من خلال هذا الكم الهائل والتنوع في الحدث يقوم بناد العمل بسرد الراوي العليم الذي يحيرك هو الآخر في تتبع من الراوي (في الغالب هو المعلم)، ومن خلال هذا المجتمع البائس في موسوكو يتناوب الشيطان وعصابته ويعثون في الأرض فساد ليتضح لنا مدى الفوضى الاجتماعية في روسيا.تبًا له هذا اللعين، حتى العوالم الفنتازية التي خلقها كانت جديرة بالتقدير والمشاهدة عن كثب وكأنها معالم حقيقة قرأت عنها من قبل بين دفتي كتاب!!. رغم تداخل أكثر من زمن في مخطط الرواية إلا أن معالمها واضحة إذا ما منحت الرواية قراءة متواصلة خلال يومين وهذا يكفي لتتشبع منها فلن يتركك الشيطان فولند تبتعد عنه.كانت الرواية – حسبما وجدت – رسالة في بث الروح للأمة الروسية لإيجاد مخلص يقودها للطمأنينة. لكن الدور الذي لعبه المعلم (الشيطان) يجعلني في شك من أمري وقد تكون رواية عابثة من ناحية الموضوع قوية من ناحية المعالجة السياسية إذا ما قسناها على الإتحاد.كذلك للرواية رسالة واضحة المعالم وهي عن الخير والشر وموقف أحدهما إذا ما غلب الثاني الأول أو العكس.أخيرًا نصيحة قارئ للنص. لا تشغل نفسك بخلاصة كل قارئ فهذه الرواية كفيلة أن تمنح كل واحد منا قراءة خاصة وكأن الشيطان مايزال يسكنها.

  • B0nnie
    2019-06-16 04:04

    The first time I read The Master and Margarita many years ago I saw it as a diamond in the rough. Rereading it now, I can see how brilliant that diamond really is. Jubilee editionIt'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.But perhaps there is one other world that Woland wreaks havoc with: the one we live in. He takes our ideas and gives them a wild spin. And what fun! Both Christian and Atheist get to see what a dog and pony show their ideas can be.The scenes with Pontius Pilate are poignant, and speak of the power of "goodness". Jesus is stripped of mythology and becomes Yeshua Ha-Nozri, a gifted and kindly person. His story here gives some insight into how that truly good man inspired a new religion. Miracles not required: these are reserved for the devil and his retinue, who make merry with the citizens of Moscow - fair game, whenever their hearts show the slightest crack of hypocrisy.This novel as a whole can be seen through the story of Pontius Pilate, the book within the book. He is a man who has been hardened almost completely. His encounter with Yeshua opens the possibility of redemption, something he had not even realized was needed. The tension builds as we go from the present to ancient past, from gritty reality to the magically surreal, from high farce to beautiful allegory.Now, using Vyacheslav Zhelvakov's illustrations of The Master and Margarita, please allow me to introduce to you the players and the game:Pontius Pilate, Mikhail Bulgakov, Yeshua Ha-NotsriWolandKorovievBehemoth and MargaritaMargaritaThe MasterSatan's Grand Ball with naked ladiesAfter the BallForgiveness and Eternal RefugeIf The Master and Margarita has a sister book, it is The Idiot. The opening scene at Patriarch’s Ponds is reminiscent of the three men meeting on the train in The Idiot. The character Yeshua is like Prince Myshkin. There are similar themes of greed, love, and the "Oh! how ashamed you will be of this afterwards!" factor.Фу ты черт...Watch the superb TV miniseries. Listen to the soundtrack.Read the dual English/Russian text (Burgin & O’Connor translation).Visit the website.Listen to Daniel Radcliff (!) Call Banga. Enjoy Gounod's Faust and Andrei Petrov: The Master and Margarita Symphony-Fantasia.Read the book.

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-05-28 01:51

    I love this book, but I won't assume you're an idiotic bigot if you think it sucks.

  • Fernando
    2019-06-10 07:46

    “Encantado de conocerte / espero que adivines mi nombre / lo que realmente te despista / es la clase de juego que me traigo”, cantan los Rolling Stones en “Sympathy for the Devil”, un tema que parece haber sido compuesto especialmente por y para este libro.¡Y qué libro tan genial! Cuando uno lee este tipo de novelas, entiende por qué se los denomina “libros de culto” y es que simplemente uno no puede dejar de sucumbir ante tanta perfección narrativa y literaria. Hay ciertos autores que alcanzan la gloria eterna como es el caso de Mijaíl Bulgákov cuando este tipo de joyas de la literatura mundial son amadas universalmente por lectores de todos los continentes.Bulgákov, es dueño de una brillante dinámica literaria a la hora de narrar esta historia que en realidad se compone de un ensamble de tres, a saber, la visita del Diablo a la ciudad de Moscú, esa maravillosa historia de amor entre Margarita y el maestro y la novela que escribe el maestro sobre Poncio Pilatos, insertada dentro del libro y desperdigada en sendos capítulos.Ahora bien, en primer lugar debo decir que ha sido una genialidad por parte de Bulgákov petrechar una historia tan amena, disparatada e hilarante como la visita del Diablo a Moscú. Será que siempre me atrajeron todos aquellos libros que tiene al Diablo como protagonista. Puedo notar también que todo lo que acontece en la ciudad y en la naturaleza de muchos de los personajes hacen referencia a la vieja sátira menipea, una de las vertientes desde la que se originaría la novela moderna según las ideas de algunos teóricos literarios.Bulgákov elige inteligentemente tanto a los personajes como a su función dentro de la historia, ya que al Diablo lo llama Voland (Valand o Demonio en alemán) y con esto logra diferenciarse de otros famosos personajes de la literatura como puede ser el el Lucifer de El Paraíso Perdido de Milton o Mefistófeles del Fausto de Goethe, aunque da la sensación que tuvo ciertas influencias de este ya que el libro comienza con una frase del Fausto que anticipa lo que vendrá: “-Aún así, dime quién eres. / -Una parte de aquella fuerza que siempre quiere el mal y que siempre practica el bien” Acompañan a Voland un infernal séquito demonios menores como Fagotto en el personaje de Koróviev, Behemoth, personificado en una especie de diábolico y enorme gato negro sin botas, Azazel en la figura del sicario Asaselo, con su colmillo saliente, la sensual y desnuda bruja Guela e incluso hay una breve aparición de Abbaddón, demonio exterminador a quien llama Abadona.Todos estos terribles personajes se encargarán de realizar un verdadero alboroto comenzando por un ataque sistemático a élite de la sociedad literaria moscovita y su sindicato, la MASSOLIT a partir de que Voland y sus infernales ayudantes se instalan en el apartamento de Berlioz. Todo lo que sucede tiene la mezcla justa e ideal de absurdo, elementos fantásticos y sátira en donde nada desentona y a la vez, llevan la trama hacia adelante en forma fluida y constante. Esto se aprecia perfectamente en la función de magia negra que Voland y sus asistentes dan en el teatro del vodevil. Todo lo que allí dentro sucede tiene una sola finalidad para Voland (y Bulgákov): sacar al desnudo lo más bajo de la naturaleza humana, sus miserias, vicios e hipocresías; sobre todo al final de la función, cuando todo el público vuelve a su casa en una forma muy distinta de la que llegó al teatro. Para llegar a semejante pandemonio al final de esa función es necesario incluir la mayor cantidad de elementos fantásticos y esto sucederá sobre todo cuando intervienen seres tan locos como el gato Behemot junto a Koróviev. Estos dos son una especie de inescrupulosos alborotadores, verdadero un tándem demoledor especialmente cuando están fuera del alcance de Voland. Ellos pueden hacer arder todo lo que está a su paso sin una pizca de remordimiento ya que a fin de cuentas, es su función.Otra particularidad de la novela es la ridiculización que Bulgákov hace de las fuerzas de seguridad y esto incluye a los servicios secretos estatales, policía, investigadores y todo aquello que represente la ley y el orden. Hay que aclarar que el autor fue perseguido por el gobierno soviético, lo que le llevó a quemar el manuscrito original borrador de esta novela en un horno (de la misma que el maestro hizo con la de Poncio Pilatos) y que recién vería la luz 26 años después gracias a su esposa, quien la terminó a partir de los papeles y borradores que quedaron su marido. Veo también una similitud perfecta entre autor y el personaje del maestro y sostengo que para muchos autores ciertas veces les es casi imposible disasociar lo empírico de lo ficcional y creo que éste es un claro ejemplo.La novela sobre Poncio Pilatos inserta dentro de El maestro y Margarita es básicamente eso, con la salvedad de que los nombres de Jesucristo, Judas Iscariote y otros fueron cambiados por Bulgákov con el propósito de relatar una historia apócrifa pero son una gran similitud a la de la condena y posterior calvario y crucifixión de Cristo, pero sobre el final tendrá una implicancia directa con Voland cuando, al principio del libro le dice a Berlioz e Iván Nikoláyevich Ponirev (Desamparado), quienes afirman que tanto Dios como el Diablo no existen, que él “estuvo allí”. Luego de esta charla ocurrirá algo que pondrá en marcha el argumento de gran parte de la novela.En tercer lugar tenemos la historia de amor entre Margarita y el maestros, ídilio romántico que da nombre al libro y que llegará hasta los oídos del mismísimo Voland, quien le dará a ella la posibilidad de ser parte principal de una auténtica ”Noche de Walpurgis” en ese capítulo llamado “El gran baile de Satanás”. Pero eso es parte fundamental de esta historia que no voy a develar, puesto que para eso está Mijaíl Bulgákov y su libro casi perfecto (de hecho, me cuesta encontrarle defectos).Una secuencia lógica de lectura me dice que, a la vista de la naturaleza de la historia narrada en este libro, yo debería continuar con la de otro ruso, Leonid Andréiev y su famoso “Diario de Satanás”, pero, como todavía no consigo ese libro tan sugerente (y seguramente maravilloso), comenzaré a leer el de uno de los más grandes escritores que dio mi país, Argentina, y que se llamó Leopoldo Marechal. Me refiero a “El Banquete de Severo Arcángelo”.

  • Luís C.
    2019-06-18 10:03

    Barely begun, I have more left! The fantastic adventures of the man with the severed head and demonic cat that disappears and reappears at will (among others) soothes me. What a brilliant storyteller that this Russian writer of the last century! The appearance of Marguerite Nikolaievna, the lover of the Master - 30 years, beautiful, smart, and married - without children - a very eminent specialist early in the second part of the story was very bewitching and for good reason, and thanks to Azazello his little box of ointment, she regains her youth and better is our beloved Witch, straddling a broom to fly in the air to our delight! All this fantastic poetry worthy of Lewis Carroll (the trickster cat) we turn the head so that one does not dwelling the deeper the theme is in many Russian works, Czech or other: gravity their bureaucracy, their repressive system (cf. the Stravinski psychiatrist), the problems of housing and food (see the house of DRAMLIT - House playwrights and writers), ... From the beginning, we see that the writer is not free: it must join the system and integrate a literary society for recognition. In Moscow, it is called MASSOLIT and its president, who is also the editor of a thick literary magazine has from the beginning a plight! To this, we can see that Mikhail Bulgakov is against this abuse of power and research at all costs more freedom in a country that holds them back. The story that runs parallel to Pontius Pilate, Judas and Jesus Christ is also very endearing. We see the procurator of Judea filled with remorse, as in the myth of Sisyphus, it will be for centuries and centuries eternally tormented by his act. I just read it but I still reread with pleasure some years later. A beautiful book.

  • Foad
    2019-06-20 08:37

    چگونه مى‌توان عاشق ولند نبود؟ چگونه مى‌توان آرزويش را نكرد؟ شيطانى كه با دستيارهايش جهان را از پاشنه در مى‌كند تا حق گردن كلفت‌ها را بگذارد كف دست‌شان، گردن بزرگ‌ترين‌هاشان را به يك اشاره خرد كند، با شعبده‌هايش به ريش‌شان بخندد و اين چهره‌هاى متشخص و جا افتاده را روانۀ تيمارستان كند، و از طرف ديگر، زير پا له‌شده‌ها را، بى‌منزلت‌ترين‌ها را، ديوانه‌هاى تيمارستانى را، مطرودان و محرومان هميشگى را غرق پاک‌ترين و كودكانه‌ترين رؤياهاشان كند، و همراه خود پروازكنان از نزد مردمان فرومایه ببردشان، ببردشان، ببردشان تا ابرها، تا ماه، تا خود ستاره‌ها، تا جايى كه بوى عفن اين جهان ديگر مشام‌شان را آزار ندهد.يك شب مهتابى، باز به "والس پروانه‌ها" گوش دادم و بد جورى دلم هواى ولند را كرد، يادم افتاد چقدر جايش در جهان واقعيت‌هاى نفرت‌انگيز خالى است. چقدر جهان بدون حضور او بى معنا و بى رنگ است. بعد، در اين دلتنگى، اين‌ها را نوشتم.

  • Mohamed Al Marzooqi
    2019-06-22 07:03

    عندما انضممت إلى صالون الأدب الروسي هنا في القودريدس، كان من ضمن أهدافي المضمرة هو التتلمذ على أيدي أساتذة الأدب الروسي (أعظم آداب العالم في رأيي) مثل غوغول ودوستويفسكي وبوشكين وتولستوي وغيرهم استعدادًا لكتابة روايتي الأولى.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 شاب متعصب للأدب قام وسأل أديبنا بضعة أسئلة:هل قرأت لفيكتور هيجو؟لاماركيز؟لاإرنست هيمنغواي، دوستويفسكي؟لا لانجيب محفوظ، عبد الرحمن منيف، أمين معلوف؟لا لا لاإذا لم تكن قرأت لهؤلاء العمالقة فلمن قرأت، وعلى يد من تعلمت كتابة الرواية إذًا؟لا حاجة لأن أذكر لكم ماذا حصل بعد ذلك، لأنها تفاصيل غير مهمة، ولكن المهم هو أن تعليق ذلك الشاب كان في محله وقد سمعته مرارا وتكرارا وفي كل مناسبة أذكر فيها أنني بصدد كتابة رواية: "اقرأ كلاسيكيات الأدب العالمي يا محمد أولاً يا محمد"لذلك أنا ممتن لأصدقائي في صالون الأدب الروسي على مساعدتي -دون قصد منهم- للولوج إلى هذا العالم والتعرف إلى أبطاله عن قرب.قد يسأل أحدكم عن مناسبة هذا الكلام في هذا المكان، وسأجيبه بأنني تعلمت درسا من هذه الرواية ربما لم يتطرق له أحد ممن كتبوا عنها وعن إنطباعهم عنها، ففي النهاية القراءة تجربة فردية تترك أثرا وإنطباعا مختلفين لدى كل قارئ!لو تخطينا الجو الفانتازي العام للرواية، والذي يذكرنا كثيرا بأجواء روايات هوراكي موراكامي الغرائبية، ونفذنا إلى اللب: سنجد أن بطل الرواية هي مخطوطات الرواية التي كتبها المعلم عن بيلاطس البنطي (الحاكم الروماني للولاية اليهودية في أورشليم) ثم أحرقها، أما لماذا أحرقها المعلم فهذا باب مفتوح على عدة إحتمالات:ربما لأن موضوع الرواية الديني قد أثار حفيظة رجال الدولة في الإتحاد السوفييتي الملحد؟وربما لأن المعلم وجد أن الجو الأدبي في روسيا آنداك لم يكن صالحا لروايته، خصوصا وأنه كان محتكرا من مجموعة أو شلة من الأدباء والشعراء والنقاد لا تقبل أن ينافسها على امتيازاتها كاتب موهوب؟وربما لأن الرواية كان ناقصة ويعوزها شيء جوهري، ألا وهو التجربة!في الفصل الأخير من الرواية يأخذ الشيطان المعلم في رحلة عبر آلة الزمن إلى أورشليم، حيث يجلس بيلاطس البنطي على مقعد حجري منذ آلاف السنين معلقًا بين هذا العالم والعالم الآخر. فيطلب الشيطان من المعلم بعد أن رأي بطل روايته وجهًا لوجه أن ينهي الرواية الآن. فيكرر المعلم بشكل تلقائي "حرٌ طليق .. حرٌ طليق" منهيا بذلك عذابات بيلاطس البنطي ومنهيا بذلك روايته .. ورواية "الشيطان يزور موسكو" التي تنتهي فعليًا عند هذا الحدث.إذًا، لكي تكون الرواية ناضجة/ناجحة لا بد للروائي أن يتوغل إلى العالم الذي يحاول أن يخلقه، ويتفاعل مع شخوصه وأبطاله، ولا يكتفي بالتفرج من بعيد!تذكرت بعد أن أنهيت الرواية مقابلة أجرتها مجلة العربي مع سعود السنعوسي صاحب ساق البامبو، قال فيها أنه، وهو يكتب روايته، سافر إلى الفلبين وعاش في أكواخ البامبو وتعرف إلى حياة الفلاحين في القرى النائية، واطلع على همومهم، آلامهم، معاناتهن عن قرب.وتذكرت الروائية الأمريكية جودي بيكولت التي قبل أن تكتب روايتها الشهيرة "جليسة أختي" زارت مستشفيات السرطان، وجلست مع أطفال مصابين بهذا المرض الخبيث وآباءهم، واستمعت إلى آراء الأطباء وقرأت -بتوجيه منهم- منشورات وكتب طبية عن الموضوع.هذا هو الفرق بين الأديب الحقيقي، الذي يكتب الرواية بعد أن يعيشها ويقتلها بحثًا ودراسة، والأديب المزيف كصاحبنا الذي ذكرت قصته في بداية الموضوع!شكرًا للشيطان الذي علم المعلّم درسًا وعلمني معه دروسًا في كتابة الرواية!

  • Vit Babenco
    2019-06-18 02:39

    There was something devilish and demonic in the time itself so the devil with his demons descended unto the capital city.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 like a poodle’s head. He looked to be a little over forty. Mouth somehow twisted. Clean-shaven. Dark-haired. Right eye black, left – for some reason – green. Dark eyebrows, but one higher than the other. In short, a foreigner.But in the time of evil even the doings of Satan seem to turn into the rather good deeds. The tale is eternal and the story of Faust, Gretchen and Mephistopheles repeats over and over again, all the way through the ages. In the grotesque Soviet times the tale becomes especially grotesque and fabulous… Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out!Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!No! The master was mistaken when with bitterness he told Ivanushka in the hospital, at that hour when the night was falling past midnight, that she had forgotten him. That could not be. She had, of course, not forgotten him.First of all let us reveal the secret which the master did not wish to reveal to Ivanushka. His beloved’s name was Margarita Nikolaevna. Everything the master told the poor poet about her was the exact truth. He described his beloved correctly. She was beautiful and intelligent.Love is pristine and ever since the serpent revealed it to Adam and Eve, Satan himself could do nothing against love.

  • Diane
    2019-06-14 01:36

    What. The Hell. Was That? 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 until page 217, which was when Margarita finally showed up. The second half of the book is definitely better than the first half, which really plodded along in places.But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let's back up. According to the introduction, Bulgakov was upset about how Christ was portrayed in Soviet anti-religious propaganda, so he wrote a satire about what would happen if Satan suddenly appeared in Moscow. The novel pokes fun at the greed and pettiness of people, and at the rigid social order in Russian life. While I did have a few giggles at the hijinks that ensue when the devil starts making mischief -- and there's a talking cat! -- there were also these frustrating flashbacks to Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem, which is what gave me a headache. And I'm getting another one just thinking about trying to summarize the rest of the story, so forgive me if I pop some aspirin and recommend anyone who is interested in this novel to read Kris' excellent review. She got way more out of this book than I did.Bulgakov worked on the novel for more than a decade, but in several different versions because at one point he even burned the manuscript. (One of its most famous quotes is that "manuscripts don't burn.") While I know enough about Stalin's oppressive regime to appreciate the creative protest that Bulgakov was undertaking, I think I would rather read a biography about the author than to ever reread "Master and Margarita."

  • Fabian
    2019-06-08 08:52

    This is sorta like trying to explain the Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios (a constant ad on Goodreads [also, cool factoid: this is actor Daniel Radcliffe's favorite novel!])--I will eventually make a fool of myself trying to describe the orchestrations of both the physical body with the pyrotechnics and rollercoaster mechanics... see, I just can't.And one cant quite get to the bottom of "The Master and Margarita"--a trippy, satirical, hard-to-classify classic of the mid-century Russian variety. It remains an almost mystical experience. Strange, exciting literary terrain is traversed and it truly titillates the senses. It is a panorama with no beginning and no end--which begins at the beginning of Christian times and ends... or does it? It stays in the mind--there is soo much to ponder here. The details are mostly red herrings--are they? Uffh!Deja vu is not uncommon. It's like being inside nesting dolls that are degutted, with jewels for entrails! Surreal doesn't befit it, nor does "parable." Quite not.An opera of wondrous dimensions! You'll enjoy it...

  • StevenGodin
    2019-05-28 03:54

    Hmm......It would appear that poor old Berlioz was not the only one to lose his head, feels like mine has gone as well!, not literally though more mentally, as I can't quite make heads or tails out of what has just gone before my eyes!. While other writers of this time period put pen to paper in the darkest of ways under Stalin's reign, Mikhail Bulgakov decides to write about among other things, talking cats, naked witches, Pontius Pilate, invisible body cream, trumpet playing gorillas and dancing polar bears!, the range of characters on offer are also nothing short of fantastically bonkers!, the sheer audacity to come up with the ideas for this novel has to be commended, and the fact of being written in secrecy obviously helped. The devil be told, I am still unable contemplate whether this is a work of utter genius or the ramblings of a complete nutcase!. At times it felt all over the place, throwing to much madness at you all at once, but it somehow manages to get away with, though I still don't know why. Two things I do know for sure, Bulgakov certainly had one hell of an imagination and this will have to be read again, not necessarily to try and make more sense of it all but just for the sheer experience of being taken on a devilishly wild ride around Moscow and beyond.

  • Mary
    2019-06-21 08:38

    I'm just going to let the sparrow take the wheel of this humble attempt to review a book that I cannot find the words to adequately define! The fox trotting sparrow that is. Haven't read this book yet? If you haven't, that isn't a spoiler, it's just a fantastical little paragraph and image that has stuck with me. Imagine...a sparrow dancing the foxtrot...and then pooping. Are you doing it? OK, now you're ready for this book.I sure wasn't ready for what was in store for me. I struggled at first. And it's not that this is an especially difficult book; it's not. What was my downfall initially was a combination of my tendency to read too fast and eagerly and my complete ignorance of biblical characters and events. I stopped at around page 50 and did some background reading then started over. This time it was better. Not only better, but insanely mind bending head scratchingly WEIRD. I am so glad I read this in a group discussion. With so many intelligent minds swapping ideas and insights I was able to better grasp what I was reading and appreciate this book for the rich and complex masterpiece that it is. This book is unlike anything I've ever read. Gold star for uniqueness, creativity and strangeness.It very quickly, within the first few pages, successfully creates the atmosphere which remains throughout. An unnerving, foreboding, dreamlike, fuzzy, paranoid, off-kilter, eye squinting, confusing, lonely and chaotic feeling that never goes away. You never know what's coming next, and it keeps coming and doesn't let up. To me, the nucleus of the story was the satire and rebellion against the oppression that was present in Bulgakov's time. In a nutshell this was a farcical and hilarious romp through a world of delicious absurdity, a distorted fun-house mirror reflection of Stalinist Russia. But gosh, it is so much more than that. To write a proper review of this is beyond me. How to even explain what it's like to read this? I mean, there's (view spoiler) and...and...all this is long after a walking talking gun toting cat strolls around wreaking havoc every couple of chapters. And there's this ball scene that is an insane mishmash of things that reminded me of a pool party (Cognac anyone?), a Masquerade ball and the orgy scene from Eyes Wide Shut, and I really don't appreciate anything reminding me of Tom Cruise's existence. It's really saying something when the least odd thing about that chapter was that the walking talking cat wasn't just a walking talking cat but that he was wearing a bow tie with no pants - because of course it would be weird for a cat to wear pants (Maybe Bulgakov always wondered, like I do, why Donald Duck wears no pants but in scenes where he comes out of the shower he has a towel wrapped around his waist?).The female characters are naked most of the time. The character of Margarita occasionally has a black cloak thrown over her shoulders, but she's mostly nuddy too. Apart from the visual, obviously Bulgakov was giving a big fat middle finger to the restraints of the Soviet regime. Or he was just a perv. You decide.The Master - He initially appears as a powerful and mysterious person, a writer and a strong presence. He's in love with Margarita and is full of passion and longing for her. Perhaps Bulgakov's death before he could finish editing this book explains the unevenness I noticed with his character. Towards the end he is merely a shell of his former self, he seemed dull and faded and barely there. Or maybe this was what happens to people. They get worn out and disillusioned. Maybe the Master is a representation of a once prosperous and lively society who dwindles and crumbles under Soviet rule. Maybe the Master is the people and Margarita is what happens when "the devil" gets involved. It's dazzling initially, those early stages of attraction and infatuation, the promise, the butterflies and pheromones, and then the cracks are revealed and suddenly it's not so bright and you were blindsided. And life as you know it is gone. Margarita - Such a strong presence in the book. She doesn't appear until part two but she was involved in some of the wackiest plots and left such a lasting impression on me (again, that's saying a lot when there's a walking talking gut toting cat around!). Margarita was in no way an admirable or strong character. Her actions are motivated by love, sure, but once she gets that love back she becomes this desperate and needy person who seemed to me to be far more in love with the Master than he was with her. She's like that one friend who can't take the hint and I wanted to shake her and yell "Girl, he's just not that into you!". Their relationship starts of believably romantic and passionate and yet, by the end it feels off. The cat (devil/Margarita) goes after it's prey (the people/The Master) and the prey ( the people/The Master ) can't sustain (his)itself under the suffocating pressure of the rulers ( devil/Margarita ). See how it all just brilliantly ties together?! Speaking of Margarita, the role of women in the book intrigues me. Nudity aside, they played roles that I noticed were violent and/or weak. (view spoiler)Honorary mention to Behemoth, the shadiest feline in literature and also a constant source of delight throughout the book. I freakin' adored every sentence involving him. The pages of this book are abundant with stunning imagery. We are constantly bathed in moonlight and silhouettes, burnt orange sunsets and blaring glares. The atmospheric nature of Bulgalov's writing really won me over, as well providing symbols of light and dark, day and night, good and evil. The book speaks to human weakness, human strength, sheep mentality, mind control, over powering forces, resistance and it's utterly entertaining, intriguing and thought-provoking. I know I'll pull this out in 5 years and read it again and discover dozens of things I missed. It's sadly still relevant today and probably will be in another 50 years. Though we like to think we're more enlightened as each generation passes, humanity seems to be on a infinite hamster wheel, learning very little and still blinded by the suns and the moons that shone over the characters in The Master and Margarita. And yet as dark and serious as Bulgakov's central message was I felt he carried with him hope. For the future of his country, his people and for mankind. Woland, the "evil force", the darkness, leaves us with the parting words "Everything will turn out right, the world is built on that" (p.382)Well, we can only hope.

  • Robert
    2019-06-08 03:56

    It is difficult to read the Master and Margarita without an uncomfortable awareness of one’s lack of understanding and ability to viscerally relate to the 1920’s Soviet Russia Bulgakov was enthusiastically eviscerating, and therefore easy (and maybe more enjoyable) to read it from a purely acontextual, Formalistic point of view. That being said, it is precisely those times where Bulgakov allows himself to overtly attack his enemies and speechify slightly on the stultifying nature of bureaucratic involvement in literature and creation which are least involving and intoxicating. And whatever else, The Master and Margarita is intoxicating and best enjoyed through a full surrender to its experience and the multiple, intersecting, complimenting, and possibly contradictory worlds it creates and presents. Although the realities of the Master and Margarita as, in part, an anti-Stalinist statement, are undeniable, it is truly limiting to read it primarily as such. Maybe the most fruitful thing to keep in mind as a reader about the act of the book’s creation (as, has been said time and again, it is on one level a book about itself) and its historical context is that Bulgakov surely knew that there was absolutely no way that even a word of such a nutty, anarchic, stubborn, and anti-dogmatic book would ever be published while the Stalinist system survived. But he wrote it anyway. As readers we get to chew over the question, as is also explored and played with in the narrative, "Why?"We expect Russian authors of certain generations to be moralists, and Bulgakov certainly falls within that sphere, but he is obstinate in both his determination to shrug at and even playfully celebrate behavior that would certainly have been viewed contemporarily as immoral, as well as to unflinchingly and determinedly state that there are, if not behaviors, than certainly states or stances, which are worthy of both redemption and praise, as well as damnation and ridicule. His Satan, in the form of Woland, is not really all that evil, and is more in partnership with Bulgakov’s Jesus, in the form of Yeshua, than he is in opposition, which the linear, moralistic (and in the novel, inaccurate) Matthew of the gospels, cannot grasp, but the uncompromising and obsessed artist (the Master) and lover of authenticity over doctrinaire comfort (Margarita) can.In the end it is probably best to recognize one’s limitations as a contemporary, post-Soviet reader, give it a nod, and move on and simply enjoy the ride as an inspired, gleeful, and sometimes sophomoric attack on cowardice, inauthenticity, mediocrity, dogma (be it of the state or the spirit) and bourgeois comfort-seeking and morality while celebrating passion, love, lack of compromise, creativity, and the unfettered seeking of truth even while knowing that it is unlikely that such a search will result in definitive answers.Regarding the translation: I originally read the Mirra Ginsburg translation, but at the strong recommendation of an Ukranian friend just read the Michael Glenny translation, which she said was better and more definitive. Although, as I am unable to read Russian, I can’t speak to the comparatively definitive nature of the two, after having compared several passages I can certainly say that the Glenny translation is more poetic and elicitous of Bulgakov’s gleefully whacked out vision.

  • mai ahmd
    2019-06-10 01:51

    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 عديدة لشدة ما ممكن أن تثيره من جدل بسبب فانتازيا القصة وعوالمها السحرية شخصياتها التي تقف بين النور والعتمة ، الحكمة والحماقة ، الحب والكراهية ، الوفاء و الخيانة ، الفرح والحزن ، الخدعة والطرفة رواية متشابكة متداخلة وهي من الروايات الفريدة والتي توضع في خانة الروايات العبقرية لأنها جمعت ما بين الخيال السحر والدين الفلسفة والسخرية ..هناك زمنين في الرواية أحدهما واقع حاضر وآخر ماضي قادم من التاريخ وهناك عدة أبعاد في الرواية البعد الفلسفي وهو يظهر فلسفة الكاتب تجاه الشر والخير ، تعاطى الشر مع الخير ، و حتمية العقاب وهذا المسار كان يقوده الشيطان وزمرته ، البعد الثاني صراع الضمير والصوت الداخلي لبلاطس البنطي بعد دوره في تعذيب المسيح وصلبه ، والبعد الثالث وهو قصة الحب والوفاء والتفاني في علاقة المعلم ومارغريتا .. قارىء الرواية يلاحظ أن كل مسار من هذه المسارات الثلاثة تتقاطع وبولغاكوف خلال الزمنين كان يوجه الأنظار للحياة اليومية وطبيعة المجتمع والعادات في روسيا لتنال حظها من السخرية والنقد اللاذع ! تبدو الرواية كأنها شبكة بالغة التعقيد وعلى القارى المسكين أن يعرف مبتداها ومنتهاها وهي ليست بالعملية السهلة أمام تعدد الرواة و الإنتقالات الزمنية والتحولات الفجائية التي تجري للشخصيات على حين غره فمارغريت مثلا تتحول من تلك المرأة الحنونة والمحبة والغارقة في الأسى إلى ساحرة عارية تطير على مكنسة وتضحك بصوت هستيري مارغريت التي باعت روحها للشيطان من أجل الحب تمثل هذه القيمة النبيلة والتي يرفع بولغاكوف من شأنها في الرواية ويسخّر السحر والشياطين لأجل إعلاء كلمتها .. بولغاكوف يطرح أفكارا شرسة تبدو كمخالب قطه الشرير .. تلفت نظرك منها مشاهد عري المرأة مثلا في الرواية وتتسائل لماذا النساء في أغلب المشاهد التي سيطر عليها السحر بدون ثياب ( ربي كما خلقتني ) كما يترجمها المترجم .. ظللت أفكر وأحاول أن أجد تفسيرا هل كان هذه العري يعكس حس النكتة لدى بولغاكوف أم إنه تعبيرا عن الحرية والخروج على القوانين الإجتماعية ! أو لعل الأمر يعبر عن الشجاعة .. إذ إن بلغاكوف ما فتأ ينتقد ويذم الجبن ويعتبره أسوء صفة ممكن أن يحملها إنسان حتى حسبته أحيانا يعنيني أو يعلم عني .. أو ربما هي البدائية الأولى ببساطتها وخلوها من تعقيدات الحياة أو لعل الأمر يأخذ تفسيرا دينيا أو إجتماعيا مرتبطا بكون المسيح يغطي عري الفقراء ويکسو عظامهم ويحميهم من المجاعة وأن تصنيف المرأة يقع في تلك الخانة !إن الأفكار التي تطرحها الرواية هي ليست تلك التي نقرأها فقط ولكنها أيضا تلك التي تختبأ بين الأسطر و القارىء الذي يقرأ رواية مارغريتا والمعلم قد يخرج بأفكار عديدة قد لا تخطر لي أو لغيري ولا أعلم إن كان يصح لي أن أشبه الرواية بجريمة قتل كل قارىء يظن أنه يعرف من هو القاتل بل ولديه الأدلة والإثباتات وحين ينظر من وجهة نظر قارىء آخر قد يرى أدلة أخرى لا تقل أهمية عن الأدلة التي يدعي إنها بحوزته .. ولعل هذا الأمر يزيد من غموض الجريمة أعني الرواية ويزيد من حالة الجدل والتفسيرات ويدفع عشاق القراءة لإعادة قراءة الرواية لمزيد من الفهم والمزيد من المتعة والرغبة في الإكتشاف .. وعلى الرغم من الخيال الجامح الذي امتلكه بولغاكوف نهاية الرواية باردة نوعا ما لا أظنها كانت بمستوى الإثارة الذي عاشه القارىء طوال صفحات الرواية إنها تشبه تماما أن يعود شخص من تلك الحفلة الصاخبة ويلقي بنفسه على السرير لينام !

  • Libby
    2019-06-16 07:49

    Very little can prepare you for the wild ride that is Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita," especially if you've read other literature or folklore that have the devil as a character. What will be helpful, I suspect, is knowing a bit about the time and setting of the novel. Bulgakov wrote this book between 1930 and 1940 while living in Moscow under Stalin. The book is set in 1920, when everything was being taken under government control, from the distribution of food and beverages to city living quarters. Foreign nationals, literature, currency, and influence were tightly controlled, if not banned, and the secret police had eyes everywhere, locking up citizens on the barest of evidence and shipping them off to labor camps in Siberia. If this weren't bad enough, opportunists played the system for their own selfish benefit, such as reporting one's neighbor to the secret police in order to move into the neighbor's apartment. Religion went from being state-sanctioned to all but banned, and churches were vandalized and looted. All published literature was so scrutinized that only the most coded dissent could get through the censors. Bulgakov went from being an acclaimed playwright to an artist dependent on the unpredictable whims of the regime, having plays produced at theatres, but then shut down shortly after opening. "The Master and Margarita," is in part a frustrated artist's reaction to all of this, as the devil appears in Moscow and wreaks merry havoc on those people whose mediocrity allowed them to thrive under Stalin, but it is also a great deal more. There are two other narratives entwined with the devil's mischief: a retelling of the Christian crucifixion with Pontius Pilate as the main character, whose story is told by several different narrators, and the story of a writer known simply as The Master and his married lover Margarita. Bulgakov has a great deal of structural fun with these three stories, leaping from one to the other with ease and weaving threads from each story into the others. But ultimately, this book is much more than the stories that comprise it. It's at turns winsome and grotesque, horrifying and hilarious, but at its core a book about hope and intellectual honesty. Though Bulgakov's masterpiece wasn't published until after his death (and Stalin's), the devil's reassurance that no truth can ever be truly lost feels simultaneously prophetic and poignant.I highly recommend this book for anybody seeking freedom from genre and cliche.