Mikhail Bulgakov and Magical Realism

(book review)

The tongue may hide the truth but the eyes –never”.
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

We all remember the work of ‘the Master and Margarita’, right? Think of the witches on the brooms, the talking cat and Woland. Tune in! This work by Mikhail Bulgakov is often attributed to fiction, but the events take place not in a fantasy or imaginary world, but in a very real city, namely Moscow of the XX century. That is why we are talking about magical realism. After all, magical realism is manifested in the constant cooperation of the mystical and the mundane.
Even the writer said, “I am a mystical writer.” This mystical writer talentedly shows and reveals completely earthly everyday deeds and sins of people and unusual deeds of representatives of otherworldly forces.

An interesting fact was that the title kept changing alongside the plot of the novel. Some of Bulgakov’s initial title ideas included “An engineer’s hoof,” “A joggler with a hoof” and “Woland’s guest performances.” The novel got its present-day only in 1937, according to the journals of Bulgakov’s wife, Elena Shilovskaya.

In addition, ‘Master’ and ‘Margarita’ characters are taken from real people. Master appeared only in the later stages of the composition of the novel, but he is based heavily on a real-life character – Bulgakov. The pivotal point of Master’s fate was the moment when he burnt the manuscript of his novel. Bulgakov did that to one of the initial manuscripts of ‘The Master and Margarita.’ Master’s fate in the novel is what Bulgakov believed he himself deserved. Margarita, on the other hand, is based on Bulgakov’s third wife, Elena Shilovskaya, his muse and the greatest love.

‘The Master and Margarita’ is a monumental novel of the 20th century. It was included in ‘Le Monde’s’ ‘100 Books of the Century.’ It is universally considered to be a classic of world literature. This is a truly mysterious and amazing work of art. “Manuscripts don`t burn…” I do recommend reading this novel if you have not done it yet. My rating is 10/10

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