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Der Meister und Margarita: Roman by Michail…
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Der Meister und Margarita: Roman (original 1967; edition 2006)

by Michail Bulgakow, Michail Bulgakow (Author), Thomas Reschke (Übersetzer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,245368226 (4.24)8 / 994
The professor and the poet who've come to Patriarch's Ponds for a stroll on a hot and stagnant Moscow afternoon are dismayed to encounter a quite extraordinary stranger, surely a deranged foreigner. As this quixotic character recalls a centuries-old story of destiny, his infamy becomes a matter of gruesome revelation for the doomed professor and his poor companion. And what will become of the Master's suppressed masterpiece? Something his lover, Margarita, will go to great lengths to ensure.… (more)
Member:timoheuer
Title:Der Meister und Margarita: Roman
Authors:Michail Bulgakow
Other authors:Michail Bulgakow (Author), Thomas Reschke (Übersetzer)
Info:Sammlung Luchterhand (2006), Taschenbuch, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:russische literatur, teufel, gott, religion, satan, udssr, sowjetunion, liebe, liebesgeschichte

Work details

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (Author) (1967)

  1. 146
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (LottaBerling)
  2. 80
    The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (shelfoflisa)
  3. 92
    The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (ateolf)
  4. 158
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Mouseear)
  5. 71
    Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (BGP)
  6. 50
    The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: Another tale where the devil shows up as a device to reveal and transcend the normality of "imposed terror".
  7. 117
    The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (markusnenadovus)
    markusnenadovus: Older Russian literature
  8. 73
    The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol by Nikolai Gogol (BGP, ateolf)
  9. 30
    Faust I & II by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (WSB7)
    WSB7: You will recognize many parallels as you read, and also consider that Bulgakov revised his work too over many years.
  10. 20
    Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov (Nickelini)
  11. 20
    The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf (gbill)
  12. 10
    Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky (charlie68)
    charlie68: The same general pathos
  13. 10
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Woland and the gentleman with thistle-down hair are very similar.
  14. 65
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (raudakind)
  15. 00
    Envy by Yuri Olesha (sparemethecensor)
  16. 11
    The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (igor.chubin)
  17. 00
    Pilate's Wife by H.D. (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: The comparison is mostly to the "book-within-a-book" that makes up one half of Bulgakov's narrative. Both books tell a version of Jesus's encounter with Pilate where the Roman tries to intercede on the prophet's behalf.
  18. 00
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (sturlington)
  19. 55
    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (ateolf)
  20. 11
    Nervous People and Other Satires by Mikhail Zoshchenko (roby72)

(see all 27 recommendations)

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English (320)  Italian (15)  French (12)  Finnish (4)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (368)
Showing 1-5 of 320 (next | show all)
A novel in which the Devil comes to Moscow to play mischief on literary types and is accompanied by a talking, boozy black cat? My first reaction was, Yes, please! I thought I'd absolutely love this one because it seems that it would be weird in all the right ways for me, but I'm sad that I didn't. Love it, I mean. Maybe because I'm not keen to understand the political protesty background? Maybe because Russian lit has never been my absolute favorite (although there are a couple that I did very much enjoy)? I feel I've failed some test somewhere with this one, but, well, *shrug*. ( )
  electrascaife | Sep 1, 2019 |
The book every Russian tells you to read.

"let me introduce my retinue. That creature who has been playing the fool is the cat Behemoth." ( )
  StevenJohnTait | Jul 29, 2019 |
Firstly, I didn’t intend to write an essay on this novel. However, once started I found I had a lot to say, and the more I thought about the plot and characters, the more ideas and parallels were sparked, so I am hopeful that the verbosity of this review can be forgiven.
At the risk of sounding both ignorant and uncultured, I found this novel (at least at first) bloody hard slog; not least because the Russian characters have three names, plus a nickname, plus a pun on their name (none of which work particularly well in translation and all of which sound rather similar to the English untrained ear). As an example- Ivan Nikolaevich Ponyrev (who seems to be referred to by any and all of these names) is also known as “Homeless” and “the poet” is a key character in the opening section of the novel. To further demonstrate: there are 17 different names that start with A that are used to refer to 15 different characters with Andreyevich used as the middle name of a bereaved uncle, who makes a journey from Kiev after his nephew is beheaded in a freak tram accident- and Andrey the buffet manager at a Moscow theatre. Clear as mud right? And that is before starting on similarly named characters with the initials M, P, L and S! At my last count there were 45 distinct characters, and I am fairly sure there will be some that I have missed. Hence, I did a lot of re-reading to work out exactly who was doing what to whom.
Additionally, I would suggest you need to be wary of the different translations. The distinct changes in meaning are subtle but important. To triangulate I had three versions at my disposal: Hugh Aplin’s translation (available for free on Kindle), the audiobook version translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (which I listened to simultaneously when reading the book to come to my own interpretation, and the subtitles for the Russian TV miniseries from 2005 when I gave up trying to work out who was who from name alone!
So those were my “technical” issues (if you like) with engaging with this novel, and this lack of clarity and understanding (and my own lack of contextual knowledge of Stalinist Russia) meant I missed many of the (what I am sure are hysterically funny to those in the know) satirical jokes in the opening section. That said, the random action and quick changes of focus, undercurrent of chaos in Moscow despite entrenched hierarchal structures and clear threat that (any) one could go missing at any time, for an unclear reason gave a clear insight into the mind and fears of a 1930s Russian citizen. No wonder it was available only in censored form for so long.
Despite these hardships, there were some genuinely laugh out loud moments in the first Moscow based part of the novel. The citizens have not lost their individuality, as they scrabble and fight for bank notes in the theatre, which are later revealed to be worthless. Nor have they lost their sense of pride and vanity, which we see in the female theatre goers, so desperate to attain the fashionable French couture (which later literally disappears from their bodies leaving semi-naked citizenesses desperately trying to cover themselves in a scene reminiscent of “Allo Allo” meets “Benny Hill”). When Professor Woland says his show will “expose” what the locals have failed to realise is that it is their (moral) shortcomings that are about to be revealed. The message is clearly, that no government can successfully legislate against human nature.
Oooh- and another fun fact, apparently Woland (later revealed- or perhaps is implied- to be Satan) was the inspiration to the Rolling Stones 1968 hit “Sympathy for the Devil”, well at least that is what my Google-Fu tells me.
Obviously, there were substantial hurdles to leap, however, I found by the second half of the novel, when we finally meet the eponymous characters, I had got in to the swing of things and begun to embrace the farcical surrealism of the novel.
The second “book” marks a change in tone, although it continues to cut away to scenes of Jesus’ sentencing by Pilate and execution (here known in the Aramaic form Yeshua). Ironically it is these scenes that are the most “real” and substantially human, as Pilate’s decision weighs head achingly heavily on him throughout. The Master and Margarita seem to be the only two characters fully invested in the authenticity of literature, and serve as a counterpoint to the heavily censored “monstrous” writing of Ivan and the rest of the writers’ union Massolit, more interested in fine dining and what their positions can do for them then the production of quality writing.
And it is Margarita’s journey of discovery and liberation from the stodgy, miserable societal expectations of that leads her back to her Master. Bulgakov mixes classical myth, Russian folklore and Bible stories to give us an impression of the timelessness of the central romance. As the worlds of communist Moscow and the inner worlds of the Master and Margarita collide, we are informed of the former’s desire to excuse all magic (and mischief) as the product of mass hypnosis, when the latter (and the reader) are fully aware of the spiritual significance and dimension of the events.
Clever, astute and in places laugh out loud funny, this novel none-the-less requires a level of dedication from the non-Russian speaking reader. Worth a read? Yes. Worth a re-read? Maybe not. ( )
  Sass_Perilla | Jul 26, 2019 |
Ugh. I’m so glad to be done with this. Maybe I just need to accept that Russian Literature is not for me.

This book is bizarre. Chaos reigns when Satan comes to Moscow. I found the social commentary interesting, but I feel like I really missed the point of the Pontius Pilate chapters. There must have been something important there and I just didn’t get it.

I struggled with the story early on, wondering what the point was of the tale, and was told by multiple people that things really pick up in Part II when we are introduced to Margarita. Sadly, the introduction of Margarita had the opposite effect for me. I did not like her character or her storyline. I much preferred the bizarre events of the first part of the novel.

Overall, the writing was compelling. I am usually not afraid to bail on books, but this grabbed me and I NEEDED to finish. However, I did not enjoy it and I’m more relieved than anything else that it is finally over. ( )
1 vote DGRachel | Jun 14, 2019 |
This was an AMAZING book! It was never slow or dwindled my interest. The plot is excellent and the prose that carries it through is truly extraordinary and lucid. The surrealist and comedic aspects are also a highlight.

I recommend this to anyone interested in literature, Russian or otherwise. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 320 (next | show all)
Hostigado y perseguido, como tantos otros creadores e intelectuales rusos, por sus críticas al sistema soviético, MIJAIL BULGÁKOV (1891-1940) no pudo llegar a ver publicada "El maestro y margarita", que, escrita entre 1929 y su fallecimiento, sólo pudo ver la luz en 1966. Novela de culto, la obra trasciende la mera sátira, si bien genial, de la sociedad soviética de entonces -con su población hambrienta, sus burócratas estúpidos, sus aterrados funcionarios y sus corruptos artistas, cuya sórdida existencia viene a interrumpir la llegada a Moscú del diablo, acompañado de una extravagante corte-, para erigirse en metáfora de la complejidad de la naturaleza humana, así como del eterno combate entre el bien y el mal.
added by pacocillero | editcontraportada de la edición
 

» Add other authors (40 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bulgakov, MikhailAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aplin, HughTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arcella, SalvatoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomqvist, Lars ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgin, DianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crepax, MargheritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dridso, VeraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dvořák, LiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Figes, OrlandoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flamant, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fondse, MarkoAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fondse, MarkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franklin, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginsburg, MirraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glenny, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstrom, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gradišnik, JanezTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guercetti, EmanuelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrit, JørgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heino, Ulla-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoppe, FelicitasAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Καραγεώργη… ΤίναTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karpelson, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klimowski, AndrzejIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kocić, ZlataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lacasa Sancha, AmayaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ligny, ClaudeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäkelä, MarttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morávková, AlenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nitzberg, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Connor, Katherine TiernanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ojamaa, JüriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orlov, VappuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pescada, AntónioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pos, Gert JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prestes, ZoiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prina, Maria SerenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins, AaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Proffer, EllendeaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rea, PriitIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhind-Tutt, JulianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schejbal, DanusiaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seabra, Manuel deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Silva, Mario SalvianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skalaki, KrystynaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strada, VittorioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suart, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szőllősy, KláraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ulla-Liisa HeinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vācietis, OjārsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
קריקסונוב, פטרTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
...and so who are
you, after all?

—I am part of the power
which forever wills evil
and forever works good.

Goethe's Faust
‘Say at last — who art thou?’

‘That Power I serve
Which wills forever evil
Yet does forever good.’

Goethe, Faust
...Так кто ж ты, наконец?

— Я — часть той силы,
что вечно хочет
зла и вечно совершает благо.

Гете. “Фауст”
Dedication
First words
One hot spring evening, just as the sun was going down, two men appeared at Patriarch’s Ponds.
At the sunset hour of one warm spring day two men were to be seen at Patriarch’s Ponds. (translated by Michael Glenny)
Однажды весною, в час небывало жаркого заката, в Москве, на Патриарших
прудах, появились два гражданина.
Quotations
...manuscripts don’t burn.
Рукописи не горят.
Les manuscrits ne brûlent pas.
what would your good do if evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In this book, the devil and his entourage, which includes two demons, a naked girl and a huge cigar-smoking black cat who talks, walks upright and is a crack shot with a Mauser automatic, appear in Moscow. They wreak anarchy & havoc on the people.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141188286, 0140455469

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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