The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

4.1 103
by Mikhail Bulgakov
     
 

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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

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.

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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
From the Publisher

“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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781840024487
Publisher:
Theatre Communications Group
Publication date:
04/01/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

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

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