12 November 2012

Monday Book Review

I was aware that The Master and Margarita was a seminal piece of work for Mikhail Bulgakov, but not much else.  Several people, unbeknownst to the each other, recommended I read it.  Fate sealed it as I perused a book store in Hyde Park and found it waiting there for me.  I was barely looking for it and it manifested itself to me, which sounds quite spooky, I know.  I read the Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor translation for Picador.  It became apparent to me that the further I delved into this story, the more useful reading it in Russian would be.  Bulgakov does employ word play and the meaning of Russian names makes identifying the book as a satire much easier.  Sadly, I discovered all the annotations––written by Ellendrea Proffer––for the novel about halfway through and didn't get the full effect until past the climax.  If you read a translated version, I highly suggested checking for annotations/footnotes/end notes to accompany it.  I would not have appreciated the depth of work without it.