The Master and Margaritaby Mikhail Bulgakov
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… See more details below
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.
The Detroit News
“A wild surrealistic romp. . . . Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous.” Joyce Carol Oates, The Detroit News
“This dark, absurd, and subversive treasure lay hidden for many years, even after Bulgakov’s death, such was the fear of reprisal for such a pointed, authentic stab at life under the tyrannical malevolence of Uncle Joe and the withering Soviet climate of the time.” Johnny Depp, “My Essentials” in Entertainment Weekly’s “Best of the Decade” issue (December 11, 2009)
“Fine, funny, imaginative . . . . The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative.” Saul Maloff, Newsweek
“The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative and poignant. . . . A great work.” Chicago Tribune
“Magnificent . . . a gloriously ironic gothic masterpiece . . . had me rapt with bliss.” Patrick McGrath, Guardian (UK)
“Funny, devilish, brilliant satire . . . It’s literature of the highest order and . . . it will deliver a full measure of enjoyment and enlightenment.” Publishers Weekly
“A rich, funny, moving and bitter novel . . . . Vast and boisterous entertainment.” The New York Times
“A classic of twentieth-century fiction.” The New York Times Book Review
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Meet the Author
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891–1940) was a doctor, a novelist, a playwright, a short-story writer, and the assistant director of the Moscow Arts Theater. His body of work includes The White Guard, The Fatal Eggs, Heart of a Dog, and his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, published more than twenty-five years after his death and cited as an inspiration for Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced acclaimed translations of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, and Bulgakov. Their translation of The Brothers Karamazov won the 1991 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. They are married and live in Paris, France.
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