Re: Chapter Seventeen: A Day of Anxiety
Yes, though since I am on board with the magical realism approach, it is kind of fun to see the stuff they get up to in his bizarre little story.
Sorry I have neglected this thread, by the way. I let myself get quite busy with work at home, so when I was reading and posting it was mostly about Hillbillies and Ta-Nehisi Coates, if not the subjective nature of mattering.
Good! Typical of Bulgakov that it occurs to him to look at the reaction by the ordinary people. I sort of wonder what it must be like to be inside the U.S. government these days. The damage being done will take a long time to undo, if things ever get back to normal. I came into the US govt after 12 years of Reagan and Bush I, and the pathologies of Republican infighting and backbiting were firmly imprinted on my colleagues' expectations. They could not believe the collegiality of the Clinton administration.
People famously would get in line just because people were lining up, and it might take a long time for people to find out what they were actually lined up for. The problem of missing out if some goods came in to be sold was more serious than the loss of time to queueing.
Interesting comparison. I had thought that the monetary shenanigans were just about money and how it was abused in the USSR, but now that you mention it he does seem to be using it as image for even bigger issues.
These were nice touches. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has nothing on Bulgakov.
Good observation. We are used to thinking of surrealist painting as a Western phenomenon of jaded intellectualism, but here the surrealism "adds up" so to speak.