Russia is an amazing country and Russian Literature plays a pivotal role in the development of world literature. One of the prominent names in Russian literature would be Leo Tolstoy who has written many great novels. These novels and stories are famous for their characterizations, characters and morals. Just like Tolstoy there is another popular Russian writer by the name of Mikhail Bulgakov. Being a Soviet Russian writer, all his works were in Russian language but because of their popularity, they underwent Rusianl translations and were published in several different languages, including English. Bulgakov rose to fame during the early twentieth century.
Out of the many works by Bulhakov, the Master and Margarita remains the most popular till date. Having the original title of “Macmep u Mapaapuma”, this novel is regarded as a masterpiece of the 20th century. This masterpiece was written during the time period between 1928 and 1940 but it was published only after the author’s death. Bulhakov died in the month of March in 1940 and the book was published in 1967. Thus, Mikhail gained posthumous fame, i.e. fame only after his death for his excellent and outstanding work in the Master and Margarita.
The plot of the novel revolves around a Devil who pays a visit to the ardently atheistic Soviet Union. The novel highlighted the bureaucratic social order existing in the society, which was, needless to say, suffocating. Because of the plotline, the novel can be classified under the Fantasy or mystic genre but it also has streaks of satire and romance, making it an enjoyable blend. The story behind the Master and Margarita is indeed an interesting one. The author, Mikhail Bulgakov first began writing the novel in Russian language in 1928. However, two years later, Mikhail became pessimistic seeing that there were no real future in being a writer in Soviet Union, and this led to him burning the initial manuscript.
Thankfully, Bulgakov restarted his work in the year 1931 and after five years, the second draft was completed. This draft had all the major plot lines in place. About a month before his death, Bulgakov stopped writing. Sadly, the manuscript was never completed and it had unfinished sentences and ends that needed to be tied. Theauthor died a little too early; nevertheless, it was proofread by the publisher and printed, which proved to be a great move because the novel was a massive success! The novel was very well received almost immediately after it was published. The readers were delighted by the amazing expression of spiritual and artistic freedom in the novel.
Even after the novel was translated from Russian language into English, it did not lose its essence. According to the Chicago Tribune, the book is mysterious, poignant, hilarious and contemplative at the same time while being laced with rich descriptive passages. Very few novels were as foremost as Master and Margarita during the twentieth century. What’s interesting is that even today, this novel holds relevance! The book has a rare way of nestling its way in the reader’s heart with its political intrigue, religious commentary, witches and scathing social satire. Readers are in for a delight as they read about the ways the powers of the Devil and hell are unleashed upon Soviet Moscow. If you are a fan of reading then you should definitely pick up this book.
The Master and Margarita is definitely one of the best novels ever written in the history of time. Even though the original script has imperfections and loose ends, these were what gave the book its unique charm. Described by fans as an ‘unputdownable’ book, Bulgakov has also managed to cleverly weave in accounts of his personal life into the book which gave it its fresh outlook. Today, Mikhail Bulgakov has gained a place amongst legends like Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who were other popular writers from Soviet Russia.
The account that inspired Mikhail to write and discover that he had the flair for writing in him is very interesting. In the year 1919 during the month of February, Bulgakov was struck by Typhus and he became severely ill, almost on the verge of death. It was during this time that he gave up his career as a doctor and switched to writing. On night when he was travelling by train in 1919, he wrote a short story. He was so pleased with it that he took it to the publisher of a newspaper in the town where the train stopped and the publisher was more than happy to publish the same. This inspired him to write more and make use of his talent, which was a wise move because it led to the world discovering and enjoying his excellent writing.
If you are looking for novels in Russian language or even one that has gone through Rusianl translations, then Master and Margarita would make a great pick!