The Master and Margarita

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
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Bies
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The Master and Margarita

Postby Bies » Tue May 13, 2014 9:29 pm

I know this is a very important book to several of us. Let us use this thread to discuss Bulgakov's Faustian epic.

(NOTE: I was very surprised there was not already a thread on this. If I missed something obvious, please feel free to delete.)
"It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him."
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Benemal
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Benemal » Wed May 14, 2014 4:56 am

I'ts been talked of a few times, since almost everyone has read it. The title of the Finnish translation is "Satan arrives in Moscow".Before I started reading, I thought it's really serious book and was surprised it's so funny and magical. I don't usually analyze books. That's not part of the experience. I just like them (or love them), or they're shit. This one I loved and will read again.
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Nefastos
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Nefastos » Wed May 14, 2014 11:57 am

This is my most beloved book, it works in so many levels. (None of which, for me, concerns politics.) Doctor Woland comes very close to how I envision a Satan's avatar, so to say, would actually act in the world: as perfect justice, but not without humane traits & personal brilliance.

Pilate too is a work of a genius, & even Jesus is much like I see him, although it remains to the reader to notice that some aspects continue to be hidden, & are only hinted at (his prophecies, healing of Pilate...).

Not long ago I stumbled upon some of my old diaries, where I had been thinking about correspondences between Woland's jolly fellows & the cardinal sins.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Insanus
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Insanus » Wed May 14, 2014 4:54 pm

Russians made immensely good TV-interpretation of this book. I think it's on youtube with english subtitles: very highly recommended!
Myrkky sattuu siihen jolla on haava.
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Nefastos
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Nefastos » Thu May 15, 2014 1:27 pm

Insanus wrote:Russians made immensely good TV-interpretation of this book. I think it's on youtube with english subtitles: very highly recommended!


Here is the best part of it (IMHO). For those not familiar with the book:

The scene starts where Margarita, a lady just tonight turned into witch in order to find her life's one true & lost love, meets professor Woland aka. Satan. Margarita has been called - because of her name! - to be a hostess for the ball for the damned, which Satan throws every year in some part of the world, this time in Moscow. The vallet is demon Korovyev (from Russian korova, "cow" - WTF you may ask & many have) and the cat is another demon Begemot (i.e. Behemoth, since the Russian g ~ h), and the succuba with the crown is Hella, Satan's housemaid.

Trivia: Some 24 years ago, I actually had a pleasure to act as one of those damned souls at the ball in a stage play made after the book. :)
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Jiva » Thu May 15, 2014 11:39 pm

I've read this book once, some months ago during the White Aspect tarot practice. My cards for the week were the lovers and the devil so this book was quite an appropriate choice :D. And also a complete accident: it was either this or Huysmans' Là-Bas, which I still haven't got round to reading.

In my opinion it seems to me that people who are punished or rewarded by Woland are judged accordingly by how they respect art rather than how they view money, power or moral rights and wrongs. I think my favourite example is during the black magic séance when Koroviev tells the art director's wife of her husband's affair. She seems more pissed off that he cast someone without talent in the lead role of some play rather than anger or embarrassment at the public revelation that her husband was cheating on her.

Actually, maybe the primary sin of some people in Woland's eyes is that they simply don't do anything. For example, the café owner loses money when the people from the séance immediately spend the illusory money at his bar, while he simply hordes his money and does nothing. However, his abstinence from drinking doesn't stop him from dying of liver cancer a few months after their meeting.

I'll definitely check the Russian TV series out; I found a torrent that downloaded the entire series within an hour.
Nefastos wrote:Trivia: Some 24 years ago, I actually had a pleasure to act as one of those damned souls at the ball in a stage play made after the book. :)
What damned soul did you play, what was your crime :P?
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Nefastos » Fri May 16, 2014 10:31 am

Jiva wrote:In my opinion it seems to me that people who are punished or rewarded by Woland are judged accordingly by how they respect art rather than how they view money, power or moral rights and wrongs.


That's a good observation, & if we want to read the book from the writer's point of view, most likely one of Bulgakov's own special messages. Personally I prefer more mystical approach, but even in that, it fits very well into the ambiguity of spiritual (in here, Satanic) justice. Just like Bulgakov's Jesus says that cowardice is the greatest of sins - which is another way to put what you noticed, that inertia will damn a man in this novel - and which is in accordance to biblical Jesus' parable of talents: in art one must actually strive, it is not possible to float. This super dynamic Satan's coming to super inert Moscow really seems like a second coming of sorts, "to purge the world with fire" - of dynamism.

Jiva wrote:What damned soul did you play, what was your crime :P?


I recall I was "Emperor Rudolf, a wizard and an alchemist". :lol:
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Sebomai
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Sebomai » Sun May 25, 2014 10:50 am

I just started this book as I got it at a bookstore in NYC mainly because of this discussion! I will report back with my thoughts soon!
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Bies
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Re: The Master and Margarita

Postby Bies » Tue May 27, 2014 10:24 am

Sebomai wrote:I just started this book as I got it at a bookstore in NYC mainly because of this discussion! I will report back with my thoughts soon!
Nice to hear that this online exchange of thoughts has triggered that!
"It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him."

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