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Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita" 
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 Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
Everybody benefits by knowing who else is planning to read and discuss the book so please make a brief post here checking in and letting us know of your intention to join this book discussion. :)

From Publishers Weekly:

This uncensored translation of Bulgakov's posthumously published masterpiece of black magic and black humor restores its sliest digs and sharpest jabs at Stalin's regime, which suppressed it. Writing in a punning, soaring prose thick with contemporary historical references and political irony, Bulgakov (1891-1940) did not make things easy for future translators. The story itself is demanding: the arrival of the Devil and his entourage in Stalin's Moscow frames a Faustian tale of a suppressed writer (the Master) and his devoted lover (his Margarita), set against a realistic narrative?the Master's rejected manuscript?of Pontius Pilate's police state in Jerusalem. An immediate contemporary classic when it was first serialized in Moscow in censored form in 1967-68, the novel suffered in its previous English translations, which were either incomplete or stylistically loose. This new translation, with its accuracy and depth, finally does justice to the politically and verbally outrageous qualities of the original. Careful footnotes explain and contextualize Bulgakov's dense allusions to, and in-jokes about, life under Stalin.


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Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:23 am
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
Yes, I will join.



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Robert Tulip
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:16 pm
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
Yes, already reading, totally brilliant, highly recommended. Many have called this the greatest novel of the twentieth century.

The translator of the edition I am reading explains in his introduction that Bulgakov would have been immediately murdered by Stalin if he had tried to publish this book when he wrote it in the 1930s. As we consider growing intolerance and polarisation today, The Master and Margarita provides wry insight into a time when such political conflict was even more intense.


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Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
I just got a copy. Looking forward to the discussion



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Chris OConnor
Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:43 pm
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
I'm sure this is available for free online too.


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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
I'm too late for this one but if discussing the Russian writer's work was a success, can we do Solzhenitsyn some day? He's my favorite dissenter.


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Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
You may still find this discussion worth joining. I am going through one chapter at a time, and will keep going for another few months.


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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
I just joined the site, but I'm going to start reading adn see if I can catch up. This looks like an interesting read, from an interesting author, and at a pivotal time in Russian/Soviet history. If I make it, great, if not, I'll jump on the next train to literary-ville.

Also, thanks Robert for your post on picking that collection of his work. You actually really whetted my appetite to read this with the information you posted about the author!



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Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
capricorn152244 wrote:
I just joined the site, but I'm going to start reading adn see if I can catch up. This looks like an interesting read, from an interesting author, and at a pivotal time in Russian/Soviet history. If I make it, great, if not, I'll jump on the next train to literary-ville.

Also, thanks Robert for your post on picking that collection of his work. You actually really whetted my appetite to read this with the information you posted about the author!


Hi Capricorn, welcome to Booktalk. Harry and I have been soldiering on with chapter by chapter discussion on this utterly superb Russian novel, with its wry satirical insights into life under Stalin, and would warmly welcome a wider range of views in response.

I just hit half way in my comments, reaching the end of Part One, and will soon start on Part Two. The Master and Margarita is riveting and electric and pivotal, so you should have no problem in catching up.


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Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:43 pm
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
I'll start this book next week. I'll never catch up with the discussion, but I'll follow the comments chapter by chapter. I found a good pdf here:

google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&am ... K0uxBDfAu4

Click that and you'll have to choose to open the pdf or save it to your hard drive. I saved it so that I can open it when needed. I like this version because it's footnoted. I'll need those notes to help familiarize me with the period and place.


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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
Welcome aboard, Kinda! We're in the same boat as I'm just beginning too (and about to make a post to the Ch. 1 discussion).

-Cap



Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:42 pm
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
Finally finished the book. It's a great one. I study framing devices in fiction and this book made use of several interesting ones--having a stand-alone piece wrapped in other narratives, shifting points of view, lurching through time/space, and so on.

As far as the meaning(s) of the book, I can see the obvious ones but not those that run deeper. I had to read in spurts but someday I'll read it again, uninterrupted, and perhaps I'll see more. I saw a BUNCH of similarities between the Soviet Union and what we have in America at the moment, but those weren't written into the novel, just socialist commonalities.

Thank you Robert for recommending the book.


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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
KindaSkolarly wrote:
Finally finished the book. It's a great one.
Glad you enjoyed it, and as I mentioned, it topped Russian polls of the best Russian novel, up against some heavy hitters like Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and others.
KindaSkolarly wrote:
I study framing devices in fiction and this book made use of several interesting ones--having a stand-alone piece wrapped in other narratives, shifting points of view, lurching through time/space, and so on.
I would find it very interesting if you could expand on how you see Bulgakov using framing devices. We recently discussed the sparrow, which appears in the Christ chapter and then again later. I think Bulgakov is masterful at preparing for introduction of new plot points, and suspect he does so in ways the reader is unlikely to notice. I found the weaving together of the various subplots worked extremely well, since I remember in other Russian novels my head would spin with all the names. Maybe it is the vivid way Bulgakov describes all his characters that makes them memorable, and a pleasure to meet again when they have been absent for a few chapters. Even Mr W.
KindaSkolarly wrote:
As far as the meaning(s) of the book, I can see the obvious ones but not those that run deeper. I had to read in spurts but someday I'll read it again, uninterrupted, and perhaps I'll see more. I saw a BUNCH of similarities between the Soviet Union and what we have in America at the moment, but those weren't written into the novel, just socialist commonalities.
This point about “socialist commonalities” is the inevitable cultural degradation and economic chaos and political corruption that arises from allowing an overweening state that attacks its most productive citizens. That may seem obvious to some, but our world sees a vile recrudescence of socialist politics, so the failure of socialism is far from obvious to Bernistas and Corbynistas. We have the same problem in Australia with polls indicating a socialist victory in our next federal election, which is incomprehensible to me.
The other great book that discusses these deep themes is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, exploring the implications of a communist revolution in the USA and the centrality of individual freedom to economic advance. We had an interesting discussion here at atlas-shrugged-by-ayn-rand-f202.html although Mr A was something of an extremist.
KindaSkolarly wrote:
Thank you Robert for recommending the book.
Glad you could read it, and only wish more people would follow your example. I found [i]The Master and Margarita[i/] extremely readable, interesting, engaging and important in its messages and relevance to the world today.


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Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:22 am
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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
Quote:
I would find it very interesting if you could expand on how you see Bulgakov using framing devices. We recently discussed the sparrow, which appears in the Christ chapter and then again later. I think Bulgakov is masterful at preparing for introduction of new plot points, and suspect he does so in ways the reader is unlikely to notice. I found the weaving together of the various subplots worked extremely well, since I remember in other Russian novels my head would spin with all the names. Maybe it is the vivid way Bulgakov describes all his characters that makes them memorable, and a pleasure to meet again when they have been absent for a few chapters. Even Mr W.

By framing devices I mean techniques used to present stories. Like the novel within a novel. I've seen that device used in other books, but never so nicely handled at the end. Framing devices, mechanics. I look at how fiction is put together. I look so intently that I often lose track of what's being communicated, more interested in method than message. It can be a problem. I think I do it because I write fiction and am interested in how others tell their stories. Structure comes first, then message. Without a proper skeleton you end up with a misshapen blob that can be hard to identify.

But now that I know HOW Bulgakov put together his novel, I'll go back someday and read it so that I can understand WHY he put it together.

At any rate, I'm currently banging my head against "The Precessional Structure of Time." My evening's reading, maybe tomorrow's as well. I'm surprised that I actually understand some of it. I may have a couple of questions after, will post them over on that thread.


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Post Re: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"
This quality discussion is happening in the "Check in" thread and not where the majority of people looking for discussion about this book will see it. If there was an easy way for me to move these posts over to a new or different thread I would. Hmmm

All I can do is suggest that you guys talk amongst yourselves and agree to create a new thread within this forum and carry the conversation there so that newcomers will see the thread title and possibly enter the discussion. They may never click on a thread with the title: Check in here if you plan to join the discussion of "The Master and Margarita"

Then again if you like it in this cold, dark lonely thread... :lol:



Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:39 am
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