130th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Bulgakov

A little about the novel The Master and Margarita. To the 130th anniversary of Mikhail Bulgakov.

«The Master and Margarita» is a novel by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, written in the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1940 during Stalin’s regime. A censored version was published in Moscow magazine in 1966–1967, after the writer’s death.

The manuscript was not published as a book until 1967, in Paris. A «Samizdat» version circulated that included parts cut out by official censors, and these were incorporated in a 1969 version published in Frankfurt. The novel has since been published in several languages and editions.

The story concerns a visit by the devil to the officially atheistic Soviet Union. The Master and Margarita combines supernatural elements with satirical dark comedy and Christian philosophy, defying categorization within a single genre. Many critics consider it to be one of the best novels of the 20th century, as well as the foremost of Soviet satires.

Bulgakov has always been interested in biblical motives in a world of art culture, so it is quite natural that the novel about Pilate and Yeshua is a kind of core of «The Master and Margarita».

Both of these works are united by the common heroes, the author’s ideas, the idea that each will be given according to his faith. Bulgakov believed in the great future of his novel.

And his prediction came true: millions of readers around the world more than once or twice refer to its pages, where the great Messire Woland and his retinue meet, and the beautiful Margarita Nikolaevna, and the master in a black cap with the letter «M», and the cruel fifth procurator Jews Pontius Pilate.

On June 15, 1938 Bulgakov completed the last chapter of the novel «The Master and Margarita». Then he ruled for another two years, supplemented the manuscript, and finished the novel a month before his death.

On March 10, 1940 he was gone. And yet he died with peace of mind, having heard from his wife exactly what he expected: «I swear, I will publish it.» According to the writer’s widow, Bulgakov’s last words about the novel before his death were: «To let them know … To let them know.»

The novel «The Master and Margarita» has become a cult and is now included in the golden fund of world literature. It is no exaggeration to say that it has been read by millions of readers. This book immortalized the name of Mikhail Bulgakov, and today it is considered one of the most unsolved works in the world.

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