The Master & Margarita

The Master & Margarita


The Master & Margarita | By Mikhail Bulgakov

When Satan arrives in 1930s Moscow, he brings with him a league of misfits that includes his mistress, the witch Hella, and a black cat with an unwholesome taste for vodka. Hellbent on terrorising the elite of the city, they announce their visit in theatrical outbursts of song, sudden deaths and expanding dimensions.

Intersected with the story of Pontius Pilate, Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita is striking not only for its imaginative scope, but also its disavowal of Realism, overthrown in favour of a carnivalesque satire intended to gouge away the respectable, atheistic façade of Russian society.

This book was a long time in the making; after several maddening false starts, Bulgakov finally finished writing the novel in 1940, 12 years after he began it. But it was very much worth it - since its first publication in 1967 The Master and Margarita has gained a huge cult following, and been hailed as a classic of Russian and twentieth century literature.

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