The Master and Margarita (Mirra Ginsburg Translation)

The Master and Margarita (Mirra Ginsburg Translation)

3.7 56
by Mikhail Bulgakov
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Mikhail Bulgakov's devastating satire of Soviet life was written during the darkest period of Stalin's regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts-one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow-the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and

Overview

Mikhail Bulgakov's devastating satire of Soviet life was written during the darkest period of Stalin's regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts-one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow-the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow. Its central characters, Woland (Satan) and his retinue-including the vodka-drinking, black cat, Behemoth; the poet, Ivan Homeless; Pontius Pilate; and a writer known only as The Master, and his passionate companion, Margarita-exist in a world that blends fantasy and chilling realism, an artful collage of grostesqueries, dark comedy, and timeless ethical questions.

Although completed in 1940, The Master and Margarita was not published in Moscow until 1966, when the first part appeared in the magazine Moskva. It was an immediate and enduring success: Audiences responded with great enthusiasm to its expression of artistic and spiritual freedom. This new translation has been created from the complete and unabridged Russian texts.

Author Bio: Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was described in the official Big Soviet Encyclopedia as a slanderer of Soviet reality. A medical doctor, he gave up his practice to pursue his writing. Stalin named Bulgakov the assistant director of the Moscow Arts Theater, where his actions were monitored. He died in disgrace.

Richard Pevear, born in Waltham, Massachusetts, and his wife, Larissa Volokhonsky, born in Leningrad, have translated from the Russian many works including Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, for which they won the PEN/Book of the Month Club Translation prize.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bulgakov's satire of the greed and corruption of Soviet authorities illustrates the redemptive nature of art and faith, and Julian Rhind-Tutt's superb interpretation does the classic full justice. With a dramatic flair and a deep, multilayered voice, he pulls off a host of fantastical characters including Professor Woland (Satan) and several of his associates, Pontius Pilate and Jesus Christ, witches and madmen and a variety of early 20th-century Moscow literary and theater types. Two minor caveats: a few characterizations are too nasal, and his cockney accents for low-class Russian characters are a bit disconcerting. (June)
Saul Maloff
Fine, funny, imaginative…. The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative.
Newsweek
Joyce Carol Oates
A wild surrealistic romp…. Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous.
The Detroit News
The Detroit News - Joyce Carol Oates
A wild surrealistic romp…Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous.
Newsweek - Saul Maloff
Fine, funny, imaginative…The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative.
Chicago Tribune
The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative and poignant…A great work.
Guardian (UK) - Patrick McGrath
Magnificent…a gloriously ironic gothic masterpiece…had me rapt with bliss.
The New York Times
A rich, funny, moving and bitter novel…Vast and boisterous entertainment.
The New York Times Book Review
A classic of twentieth-century fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394174396
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/17/1976

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“My favorite novel—it’s just the greatest explosion of imagination, craziness, satire, humor, and heart.” —Daniel Radcliffe

Meet the Author

Mikhail Bulgakov was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1891. At the outbreak of World War I, Bulgakov joined the Red Cross, and he graduated from Kiev University medical school in 1916. After graduation, Bulgakov joined the White Army, which opposed the rising Bolshevik presence in Russia, and he served as a field doctor in the Caucuses during the Civil War. After his family was forced into exile, in Paris, when the Soviets secured the government, Bulgakov became a journalist. He began to write more and more in the 1920s, yet government censorship hindered his efforts and by 1929 his writing career was all but destroyed. In 1931, Bulgakov and his third wife settled in the Presnensky District in Moscow. It was here that he would spend the last decade of his life writing the great work The Master and Margarita, about the widespread corruption of the Soviet state. The work was published posthumously by Bulgakov's wife, in 1966, although it circulated as samizdat for some time before. Other notable works include The White Guard, written in 1924, but published posthumously, and Heart of a Dog (1925), about a professor who turns a dog into a man, and is an indictment against Stalinism. Bulgakov died in 1940 due to a genetic kidney disease.

Mirra Ginsburg was born in Russia. In addition to The Master and Margarita, whose translation was called "brilliant" by Publishers Weekly, she has translated other works by Bulgakov, as well as stories and novels by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Aleksey Remizov, Isaak Babel, Mikhail Zoshchenko, and Andrey Platonov. She has edited many books, including the collection The Fatal Eggs and Other Soviet Satire, and is the author of more than twenty books for children.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Master and Margarita (Pevear / Volokhonsky Translation) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to reading this book on my Nook and was sad to find it was not an English translation. It would have been nice if they said so somewhere before l bought it. Nook doesn't offer this book in English so it's off to the public library.
Chicago_Nook More than 1 year ago
THIS IS IN RUSSIAN! Really disappointed that it didn't tell me that before I bought it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has nothing to do with the book, but with B&N scheme , or lack of honesty. Where does it says the book is in Russian? Credit my money back or I will never visit this place again. And you force me to give one star?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone thinks it's the best translation - the Nook version is in Russian, so there is no translation!  Very disappointing since the type in the English print version is uncomfortably small for these old eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would have liked to have been informed in the description that this ebook was in a language other than English. Why was the description and whatnot written in English but not the book it was describing? Bizarre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was born and raised in Russian-speaking country. I love and adore Master and Margarita. But when it came to recommending that read to my American friends it was tough. That is until i opened that one. Take it from a person who speaks both languages, this IS the best translation out there.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This extraordinary and unique book opens in 1930s Moscow during the darkest period of Stalin's repressive reign. Near Patriarch Ponds, two writers sit on a bench engaged in a discussion regarding the nature of Jesus. True to their times, both writers devoutly discount his existence. As their discourse continues, they are joined by a third man, a well-dressed stranger who claims not only to believe in the existence of the historical Jesus, but to have actually been present at Jesus's trial and crucifixion. Unbeknownst to the two writers, this stranger is none other than Satan, himself, who is now calling himself Woland. The next chapter takes us to Yershalaim (Jerusalem) and Pontius Pilate's interrogation of Yeshua Ha-Nozri (Jesus). Much to Pilate's dismay, Yeshua freely admits to all of the charges brought against him. Pilate, although finding himself captivated by Yeshua and desiring to free him, has no choice but to order his execution instead. Yeshua is sentenced to death and crucified and Pilate grows more and more disturbed. Back in Moscow, things have taken a bizarre turn. When Woland's prediction of the death of the writer Berlioz turns out to be true, another writer, Ivan the Homeless is unceremoniously carted off to an asylum and the esteemed Dr. Stravinsky. As heads roll and people are driven mad, Ivan meets his neighbor in the asylum, one known only as The Master. The Master, also a writer, has been working on a novel centering on Pontius Pilate and the story, not coincidentally, is more than similar to Woland's eyewitness version. Ivan also learns of The Master's love for the beautiful Margarita with whom he shared both an apartment and an affair until the rejection of his novel drove him insane. Margarita, meanwhile, is living in a loveless marriage and spends her days pining away for her lost Master, knowing nothing of his whereabouts. The story then moves back to Yershalaim and Pilate's struggle to come to terms with the death of Yeshua. He is visited by Matthew Levi and subsequently orders the death of Judas of Kiriath (Judas Iscariot) for his betryal of Yeshua. Moving back to Moscow again, we learn the reason for Woland's visit. He wants to give a Grand Ball and is in search of a hostess--a hostess named Margarita. Margarita instantly agrees and the Grand Ball proceeds, apparently lasting for hours and hours with the guests having been chosen from among the most sinful and corrupt of all the deceased. With the dawning of the new day, Woland, who is pleased with Margarita's performance, tells her he will grant her her fondest wish. Of course, that wish is to be reunited with The Master. How this request is accomplished is one of the most extremely inventive passages in all of literature and involves not only Woland, but his wily accomplices (Azazello and Behemoth), Matthew Levi and Pilate, himself. Suffice it to say, all turns out well for all intended and The Master and Margarita eventually come to reside together for all time. In The Master and Margarita, Bulgakov has created, not only a technical masterpiece of flawless writing, but also one of immense creativity, making use of innuendo, iconography, metaphor and satire. This is a multi-layed book, encompassing many themes, drawn with a painstaking commitment to detail. Although, at first glance, the two concurrently running stories seem to bear no relation to each other, a closer examination shows us just how creative Bulgalov was and how great was his genius. As the story of Yeshua and The Master are occurring nearly two thousand years apart, it would seem, on the surface, impossible to link them. Bulgakov, however, forgets this span of years and tells the story by the day and the hour instead. As the Easter weekend unfolds, so do his stories, just as though they were occurring each at the same time but in different locations. Bulgakov did not intend for the story of Yeshua to be of historical significance. Instead, it is used as a device to further the sa
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth translation of this absolute masterpiece that I have read. Short of being able to read it in Russian, I have found the perfect translation. Having read the Ginsburg, Tiernen & O'Conner and Glenny translation, this unabridged version is undoubtedly the best. The characters in Woland's retinue are more lively and you get true understanding of each of their personalities. Their notes guide you through the times and names and history which give you a more complete comprehension of the darkest reign of Stalin and Moscow life. The interwoven tales of ancient Jerusalem, comtemporary moscow, and a love story have truly made this novel the ultimate masterpiece. I recommend the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation to appreciate this novel at the highest level.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey, if the text of the book is not in English please do not offer a description in English either.  Not everyone who can read English can read Russian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this and found out it was in Russian not English....BN does not state that it isn't in English...Can i return it?? Probably not
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago