The book: The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
The edition: Italian translation by Maria Serena Prina, as published by Oscar Mondadori, 552 pages, including a short story and a letter to the USSR Government by Bulgakov as well as a foreword about the author and an afterword about the novel
The story: a good summary here
My experience with the book & my thoughts: I’m sorry I don’t have much to say about this one. And not because a lot of time has passed since I read it, but simply because it went quite over my head. Even with a preface and afterword and everything, I still didn’t get it. Much.
OK, some social and political satire was so evident that even I saw it. Like when they say that the apartment is mysterious because people have disappeared — as in, went away with a policeman who wanted to check on them, and never went back. But that was pretty much all that I got out of this book. Sorry.
Language & writing: oh how I loved the language here! I cannot show you, because I read it in Italian, but it was full of beautiful words… and I started thinking that such words would have a hard time getting published today, and that since the Internet all languages seem to be somehow impoverished…
Links to better understand this book: I did try to understand some more… and I’m sure you’ll do a better job. Here’s something that may be of help:
- Penguin’s reading guide
- an extensive site dedicated to the novel by a fan
- another website full of resources
Read this if: I’d say, if you like the classics and have the tools (knowledge) to appreciate and understand it.