Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Master and Margarita: a very short review

Well, here I go again: I finally got around to reading Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.

Of course, this is one of the great works of 20th Century literature, not just Russian Literature but any literature.

And yet.

I'm not really sure how I feel about reading The Master and Margarita. I really enjoyed reading it; it's quite the romp!

And I realized, as I was reading it, that I was reading An Important Book Of Great Import.

But the whole experience was rather like reading Alice in Wonderland, another work of great literature which is just completely bizarre and strange.

Here's the short explanation of The Master and Margarita: it's set about 100 years ago, just as the Tsarist Era in Russia is ending, and the Stalinist period is beginning.

And the plot is: the Devil has decided to make a visit to Moscow.

There are lots of crazy bizarre discussions among lots of crazy bizarre characters.

And the whole thing is very entertaining.

But it's also the sort of book that comes with a 60-page section of notes, detailing and explaining the historical, political, religious, and literary references with which the book is packed.

Kind of like reading The Annotated Alice.

I sort of went back and forth: I would just read the book itself for a while, and then I'd go and read a bunch of the notes, to try to figure out why I was reading what I was reading and what it all meant.

I'm happy I read the book.

But I'm exhausted, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment