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Mikhail Bulgakov

(1891-1940)
Mikhail Bulgakov was born and educated in Kiev where he graduated as a doctor in 1916. He rapidly abandoned medicine to write some of the greatest Russian literature of this century. After a lifetime at odds with the stultifying Soviet regime, he died impoverished and blind in 1940, shortly after completing his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. None of his major fiction was published during his lifetime.

The Master and Margarita: An absolute feast of a book

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The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

[In our Edge of the Universe column, we review books that may not be classified SFF but that incorporate elements of speculative fiction. However you want to label them, we hope you’ll enjoy discussing these books with us.]

While mid-20th century Russian propaganda wizards were twisting words to hide the truth, Mikhail Bulgakov wrote a response that proved fantasy could be used to reveal wisdom rather than confuse it.

An absolute feast of a book, The Master and Margarita serves up a delicious variety of characters and scenarios — naked witches, talking cats, and a devil’s ball — as a less-than-subtle riposte to communist cant. In the process, Bulgakov simultaneously subverts the doctrine of his day, declaring the universal power of the written word to have a staying po... Read More