The Master and Margarita: Translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor

The Master and Margarita: Translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor

4.7 46
by Mikhail Bulgakov
     
 

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Written during the darkest, most repressive period of Stalin's reign, this novel gives substance to the notion of artistic and religious freedom. Although Bulgakov completed his masterpiece in 1940, it was not published until 1966, twenty-six years after his death, when the first section appeared in the magazine Moskva, which sold out within hours. Despite its

Overview

Written during the darkest, most repressive period of Stalin's reign, this novel gives substance to the notion of artistic and religious freedom. Although Bulgakov completed his masterpiece in 1940, it was not published until 1966, twenty-six years after his death, when the first section appeared in the magazine Moskva, which sold out within hours. Despite its devastating satire of Soviet life and its audacious portrayals of Christ and Satan, the manuscript had somehow eluded Russian censors, and the enthusiasm of its readers assured the novel immediate and enduring success.

A brilliant blend of magical and realistic elements, grotesque situations, and major ethical issues, The Master and Margarita combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem. Brimming with historical references, religious imagery, storms, witchcraft, and romance, Bulgakov's novel is impossible to categorize: Its story lies between parable and reality; its tone varies from satire to unguarded vulnerability. Its publication represents the triumph of imagination over politics. This new translation has been made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“One of the truly great Russian novels of [the twentieth] century.” —NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW“The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative, and poignant . . . A great work.”—CHICAGO TRIBUNE“Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita is a soaring, dazzling novel; an extraordinary fusion of wildly disparate elements. It is a concerto played simultaneously on the organ, the bagpipes, and a pennywhistle, while someone sets off fireworks between the players’ feet.”—NEW YORK TIMES“Fine, funny, imaginative . . . The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative.”—NEWSWEEK “A wild surrealistic romp . . . Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous.”—Joyce Carol Oates“Sparkling, enchanting, funny, deeply serious and sometimes baffling . . . [The Master and Margarita is] a liberating, exuberant social and political satire combined with a profound moral and political allegory . . . A bravura performance of truly heroic virtuosity, a carnival of the imagination.” —from the Introduction by Simon Franklin
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679760801
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Annotated
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
81,645
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.93(h) x 0.80(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

Meet the Author

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was born and educated in Kiev where he graduated as a doctor in 1916. He rapidly abandoned medicine to write some of the greatest Russian literature of this century. He died impoverished and blind in 1940 shortly after completing his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita.

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The Master and Margarita: Translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Hirlau More than 1 year ago
About four years, ago I had met a person who is from Russia. We have a common interest in our family's sports. In a conversation one day on good, evil and the temptations that try men's souls; he recommended I read "The Master and Margarita." The first two chapters locked me in. The setting of Pontius Pilate in a private conversation with Christ prior to his execution, was a concept never presented to me before. I would like to believe that such an event occurred. I enjoyed the transitioning in time through out the book. Reading Bulgakov's book has only cemented my thoughts that Hell is real and it exists in our minds. I was surprised at the way Bulgakov presented the Devil (the character Woland). Controlled, not "fire-breathing", an individual with total confidence in his agenda; collecting souls. What I noticed in most of the encounters was the always present "option" presented by Woland through his underlings; to do the right thing or follow the temptation. I felt no compassion for Margarita. I feel that Margarita and The Master ended up as they were from the beginning; lost souls. My high point of the book was in the final chapters when Levi delivered Woland(The Devil) the order from Christ on Margarita and The Master. Even the Devil must answer to someone. Good does win out over evil. This was the first time I ever reviewed a book. I hope you enjoy this book. Thank you for taking the time to read my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend recommended this book to me, and what actually made me to buy it was because he considered it his favorite book of all time. I agree with him about that. It is an amazing book. Not only that, I developed an interest in the author's other works. Nevertheless, this is the best book written by Mikhail Bulgakov. It is an absolute masterpiece, a classic accepted in Russia and the rest of the world. "MASTER AND MARGARITA" is about purges Stalin ordered in the Soviet Union. The curious thing about this book is that the purges are depicted not to have been carried out Stalin's men, but rather by Satan himself, and in the manner of Baron Munchaussen, we get to know of a huge talking cat. Like animal farm, the greater meaning of the book is revealed through the intelligent though bizarre, compelling and humorous story. One is constantly left anticipating what the next page holds. There are so many layers and so many little details that one wonders how the author managed to put them together. Bulgakov is the Soviet version of Imperial Russia's Dostoevsky, but unlike Dostoyevsky who had a mastery of the mind/soul Bulgakov mastery is in the literature of oppression. I have recommended this book to many friends and family and recommend it to any reader interested in the enigma that is Russia, especially Stalinist Russia. Other interesting stories set in Russia are THE UNION MOUJIK,TARAS BULBA, PUTIN'S RUSSIA, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LENIN, WAR AND PEACE. Also note that you are sure to find the widest selection of odd and creepy characters in this book .
SavageBS More than 1 year ago
Great classic novel. I wasn't 100% sure that I would like or enjoy reading this at all, I was wrong~ Getting used to all the "three-barreled Russian names" as other reviewers have stated, is probably the trickiest part of this classic novel! The author calls characters by their 1st name, then later refers to the same character by his middle and last name, a little confusing at times! This book has two parts, Part 1 is 168 pages, Part 2 is around 140 pages. Part 1 for me was a little boring, with the exception of the chapter "Black Magic and Its Exposure". Part 2 is where the book really picks up and turns into a real page turner! "Satan's Great Ball" is arguably the best chapter in the book! This book has several really, really memorable characters- Satan, called Woland in the book Behemoth a mischievous, gun-happy, fast-talking, chess playing, black cat the size of a hog (a very likeable cat and the best character in the book by far) A great classic novel!
TheBirdCop More than 1 year ago
Such a terrible waste of resources. Do not read this book if you value your time.
jane_eyre_ More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious and entertaining all the way through! It is a bit tough to keep up with the names of so many characters, but after a while you know each of them well! If you notice, the only reason this book is rated 4 stars and not 5 is because people are posting that the nook version is in Russian. The English translation, however is incredible! 5/5! 
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niceboo1 More than 1 year ago
Read it many times in Polish and looking forward to reading it in English for the first time. Thanks B&N for having it!
Achire More than 1 year ago
I have read several translations and the original of Master and Margarita, in addition to translating a chapter for personal use. This one is the best. When one reads this translation, it is easy to understand what makes M&M the favorite book of so many Russian-speakers. The prose is simple, yet elegant, full of beautiful irony. This translation keeps endnotes only when they are necessary (in contrast to the Pevear & Volokhonsky version, which eagerly explains every minor reference). The other translation commonly recommended is the Mirra Ginsburg, which has lovely descriptive prose. However, I feel that translation lacks the humor that is so essential to Bulgakov's work. The dialogues in the Burgin and O'Connor seem more natural, less contrived, and full of wit and humor. Overall, this is an excellent translation.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Friends that I recommend this book to ask me what it's about, and all I can tell them is: everything! It spans a range of subjects, and is an absolutely delightful read.
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kuzya More than 1 year ago
the best masterpiece of 20-th century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bugakov manages to pull off a work so meaningful that it has become a part of everyday Russian speech. In its moving and comic scenes, he shows where the evil of man truly originates, and how little control humans exert over their lives despite any illusion that depicts the opposite. The intellectual girth can be measured in the same scale as the works of Dostoevsky, making this a work so profound that it inspires sympathy for the most unlikely of targets. This is truly one of the best stories to be told by a Russian author.
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