The Fiction of Mikhail Bulgakov (incl The Master and Margarita)

Discussion in 'Literary Fiction' started by GOLLUM, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi all.

    It's been sometime since I've had a chance to post anything on these forums but I am currently (re)reading the novel The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940), written in the tradition of Gogol, which sees the Devil arrive in atheistic Stalinist Moscow to fill a "social void" that has been created.

    This is arguably the finest Russian novel to have been written in the 20th Century and there have been several excellent ones (incl. Andrei Bely's St. Petersbrug, Yuri Oleshi's Envy, Solzhenitsyn's One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, Andrei Paltinov's The Foundation Pit etc..).

    I have all of Bulgakov's work that is currently translated into English and hope to post reviews on some of his other works over time but for now this is a placeholder for a subsequent review on his best known work.

    I plan to complete, review and post on the complex multi-themed novel The Master and Margarita within the next couple of weeks but please feel free to post here yourself if you have read anything by Bulgakov or to simply express an interest in this author.
     
    Stewart Hotston likes this.
  2. nixie

    nixie pixie druid Staff Member

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    Never heard of him but this does sound like something I would enjoy. I miss your recommendations.
     
  3. Stewart Hotston

    Stewart Hotston Well-Known Member

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    @GOLLUM the Master and Margarita is quite simply my favourite novel of all time. It took me a long time to wrap my head around his style but this is one of the most amazing books about story telling ever written. It's a tough read but one worth the investment. I'd also recommend reading about HOW he wrote it and how it was shaped by his own hounding by the secret police.
     
  4. Paul_C

    Paul_C Well-Known Member

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    I've read it a couple of times, and heard an adaptation on the radio (4 or 4 Extra) which was ok but was never going to contain the whole story, I enjoyed it but haven't read any of his other work as yet.
     
  5. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Stewart (and Paul), nice to find other fans.

    Yes Bulgakov was certainly hounded by 'The State' and of course that is central to the overall story arc but also interestingly favoured to a degree by Stalin, a fact that appears to have caused Bulgakov a certain level of guilt, which is also a theme within the novel re: the character of Pilate for one.
     
  6. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes it has been a while since I have done much posting but hopefully I can contribute more now...:)
     
  7. J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    Welcome back. :)

    Eons ago, I read M&M and probably didn't understand half of it at that age but recall being really fascinated by it. It took me years to follow up (alas, still many years ago) but I tried Heart of a Dog and that one, perhaps because it was more overtly science fictional, worked much less well for me. Neither are exactly "fantasy" or "science fiction" so much as parables or allegories or whatever but, as more an SF fan, the faultily deployed SF machinery bugged me while the fantastic nature of M&M I thought worked very well. I intend to re-read M&M one of these days (still have my copy) but hadn't really thought about exploring Bulgakov further after Dog.
     
  8. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    @J-Sun thanks for the welcome back.

    As I intend to basically cover Bulgakov's entire oeuvre you may find this thread of interest as I develop it into 2017.

    I'm still making my way though M&M and enjoying it.
     
  9. saulfan

    saulfan Member

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    Did you ever get to finish M & M?

    Like a couple of the other posters, I read this many years ago (and more than likely, didn't understand very much beyond the surface of the work.)

    Now - it's on my to 're-read' list and I hope to get round to it soon.

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
  10. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi David.

    I got sidetracked big time (in no small part due to a new job) and therefore have not yet finished M&M but I want to read and complete it this weekend.

    Cheers.
     
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