The Master and Margarita
|The Master and Margarita|
1st single-volume edition
|Original title||Мастер и Маргарита|
|Genre(s)||Fantastic, farce, mysticism, romance, satire|
|Publication date||1966–1967 (in series), 1967 (in single volume), 1973 (uncensored version)|
|Published in English||1967|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-14-118014-5 (Penguin paperback)|
The Master and Margarita (Russian: «Ма́стер и Маргари́та») is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, written between 1928 and 1940 but not published until 1967, which is woven around a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider it to be one of the best novels of the 20th century, and the foremost of Soviet satires, directed against a suffocatingly bureaucratic social order.
Bulgakov started writing the novel in 1928. He burned the first manuscript of the novel in 1930, seeing no future as a writer in the Soviet Union. The work was restarted in 1931. In 1935 Bulgakov went to Spaso House, the residence of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union William Bullitt, which was transformed by Bulgakov into the Walpurgis Night ball of the novel. The second draft was completed in 1936, by which point all the major plot lines of the final version were in place. The third draft was finished in 1937. Bulgakov continued to polish the work, aided by his wife, but was forced to stop work on the fourth version four weeks before his death in 1940.
A censored version, with about 12 percent of the text removed and still more changed, was first published in Moscow magazine (no. 11, 1966 and no. 1, 1967). The text of all the omitted and changed parts, with indications of the places of modification, was printed and distributed by hand (in a dissident practice known as samizdat). In 1967, the publisher Posev (Frankfurt) printed a version produced with the aid of these inserts.
In the Soviet Union, the first complete version, prepared by Anna Saakyants, was published by Khudozhestvennaya Literatura in 1973, based on the version completed at the beginning of 1940, as proofread by the publisher. This version remained the canonical edition until 1989, when the last version, based on all available manuscripts, was prepared by Lidiya Yanovskaya.
Plot summary 
The novel alternates between two settings. The first is 1930s Moscow, where the Patriarch Ponds is the site of the first appearance of Satan in the guise of "Professor" Woland or Voland (Воланд), a mysterious gentleman "magician" of uncertain origin, who arrives with a retinue that includes the grotesquely dressed "ex-choirmaster" valet Koroviev (Fagotto) (Фагот, the name means "bassoon" in Russian among other languages, from the Italian word fagotto), a mischievous, gun-happy, fast-talking black cat Behemoth (Бегемот, a subversive Puss in Boots, the name referring at once to the Biblical monster and the Russian word for Hippopotamus), the fanged hitman Azazello (Азазелло, hinting of Azazel), the pale-faced Abadonna (Абадонна, a reference to Abaddon) with a death-inflicting stare, and the witch Hella (Гелла). The havoc wreaked by this group targets the literary elite, along with its trade union, MASSOLIT. MASSOLIT is a Soviet-style abbreviation for "Moscow Association of Writers", Московская ассоциация литераторов, but possibly interpretable as "Literature for the Masses"; one translation of the book also mentions that this could be a play on words in Russian, which could be translated into English as something like "LOTSALIT"), its privileged HQ Griboyedov's House, corrupt social-climbers and their women (wives and mistresses alike) – bureaucrats and profiteers – and, more generally, skeptical unbelievers in the human spirit.
The second setting is the Jerusalem of Pontius Pilate, described by Woland talking to Berlioz and later echoed in the pages of the Master's novel. It concerns Pontius Pilate's trial of Yeshua Ha-Notsri (Иешуа га-Ноцри, Jesus the Nazarene), his recognition of an affinity with and spiritual need for Yeshua, and his reluctant but resigned submission to Yeshua's execution.
Part one of the novel opens with a direct confrontation between the unbelieving head of the literary bureaucracy, Berlioz (Берлиоз), and an urbane foreign gentleman who defends belief and reveals his prophetic powers (Woland). Berlioz brushes off the prophecy of his death, only to have it come true just pages later in the novel. This fulfillment of a death prophecy is witnessed by a young and enthusiastically modern poet, Ivan Ponyrev, who writes his poems under the alias Bezdomny (Иван Бездомный – the name means "Homeless"). His futile attempt to chase and capture the "gang" and warn of their evil and mysterious nature lands Ivan in a lunatic asylum. Here, Ivan is later introduced to The Master, an embittered author, the petty-minded rejection of whose historical novel about Pontius Pilate and Christ led him to such despair that he burns his manuscript and turns his back on the "real" world, including his devoted lover, Margarita (Маргарита).
Major episodes in the first part of the novel include a satirical portrait of the Massolit and their Griboyedov house; Satan's magic show at the Variety Theatre, satirizing the vanity, greed and gullibility of the new rich; and Woland and his retinue capturing the late Berlioz's apartment for their own use.
Part two of the novel introduces Margarita, the Master's mistress, who refuses to despair of her lover or his work. She is invited to the Devil's midnight ball, where Satan (Woland) offers her the chance to become a witch with supernatural powers. This coincides with the night of Good Friday since the Master's novel also deals with this same spring full moon when Christ's fate is sealed by Pontius Pilate and he is crucified in Jerusalem. All three events in the novel are linked by this.
Learning to fly and control her unleashed passions (not without exacting violent retribution on the literary bureaucrats who condemned her beloved to despair), and taking her enthusiastic maid Natasha with her, Margarita enters naked into the realm of night. She flies over the deep forests and rivers of the USSR; bathes and returns with Azazello, her escort, to Moscow as the anointed hostess for Satan's great Spring Ball. Standing by his side, she welcomes the dark celebrities of human history as they arrive from Hell.
She survives this ordeal without breaking, and for her pains, Satan offers to grant Margarita her deepest wish. Margarita selflessly chooses to liberate a woman whom she met at the ball from the woman's eternal punishment: the woman was raped and had later suffocated her newborn by stuffing a handkerchief in its mouth. Her punishment was to wake up every morning and find the same handkerchief lying on her nightstand. Satan grants her first wish and offers her another, citing that the first wish was unrelated to Margarita's own desires. For her second wish, she chooses to liberate the Master and live in poverty-stricken love with him.
Neither Woland nor Yeshua appreciates her chosen way of life. Azazello is sent to retrieve them. The three drink Pontius Pilate's poisoned wine in the Master's basement. Master and Margarita die, though their death is metaphorical as Azazello watches their physical manifestations die. Azazello reawakens them and they leave civilization with the Devil as Moscow's cupolas and windows burn in the setting Easter sun. The Master and Margarita, for not having lost their faith in humanity, are granted "peace" but are denied "light" – that is, they will spend eternity together in a shadowy yet pleasant region similar to Dante's depiction of Limbo, having not earned the glories of Heaven, but not deserving the punishments of Hell. As a parallel to the Master and Margarita's freedom, Pontius Pilate is released from his eternal punishment when the Master finally calls out to Pontius Pilate telling him he's free to finally walk up the moonbeam path in his dreams to Yeshua, where another eternity awaits.
The Spring Festival Ball at Spaso House and the Master and Margarita 
One historical event which Bulgakov attended had an important influence on the novel – the Spring Festival at Spaso House, Moscow (the residence of the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union) hosted by Ambassador William Bullitt on 24 April 1935. Bullitt instructed his staff to create an event that would surpass every other Embassy party in Moscow's history. The decorations included a forest of ten young birch trees in the chandelier room, a dining room table covered with Finnish tulips, a lawn made of chicory grown on wet felt; an aviary made from fishnet filled with pheasants, parakeets, and one hundred zebra finches, on loan from the Moscow Zoo; and a menagerie of several mountain goats, a dozen white roosters, and a baby bear.
Although Joseph Stalin did not attend, the four hundred guests at the festival included Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov, Defense Minister Kliment Voroshilov, Communist Party luminaries Nikolai Bukharin, Lazar Kaganovich, and Karl Radek, and Soviet Marshals Aleksandr Yegorov, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, and Semyon Budyonny, as well as Bulgakov.
The festival lasted until the early hours of the morning. The bear became drunk on champagne given to him by Karl Radek, and in the early morning hours the zebra finches escaped from the aviary and perched below the ceilings around the house.
Mikhail Bulgakov transformed the Spring Festival into The Spring Ball of the Full Moon, which became one of the most memorable episodes of the novel. On 29 October 2010, seventy-five years after the original ball. as a tribute to Ambassador Bullitt, Bulgakov and the Master and Margarita, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation John Beyrle hosted an Enchanted Ball at Spaso House, recreating the spirit of the original ball.
Major characters in The Master and Margarita 
Contemporary Russians 
- The Master
- An author who had written a novel about the meeting of Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Notsri (Jesus of Nazareth), leading to the ruination of his career by the Soviet literary bureacracy. Is "detained for questioning" for three months by the secret police, because of a false report by an unscrupulous neighbor. Is later committed to a psychiatric clinic, where Bezdomny meets him. Little else is known about this character's past other than his belief that his life had no meaning until he met Margarita.
- The Master's lover. Trapped in a passionless marriage; devoted herself to The Master, whom she believes is dead. She appears briefly in the first half of the novel, but is not referred to by name until the second half, where she serves as the hostess of Satan's Grand Ball on Walpurgis Night. She is named after Goethe's Faust's Gretchen — whose real name is Margarita —, as well as Marguerite de Valois. Marguerite was the main character in an opera, Les Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer, which Bulgakov particularly enjoyed, and a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père, La Reine Margot. In these accounts, the queen is portrayed as daring and passionate. The character was also inspired by Bulgakov's last two wives, the first of whom loved action and was physically daring, while the last was devoted to his work in the same way as Margarita is to the Master.
- Mikhail Alexandrovich Berlioz
- Head of the literary bureaucracy MASSOLIT. He bears the last name of the French composer Hector Berlioz, who wrote the opera The Damnation of Faust. Berlioz is particularly insistent that the Gospel Jesus was a completely mythical figure with zero historical basis, as opposed to a historic person whose biography was later "embellished" by Christians. Woland predicts that he'll be decapitated by a young Soviet woman, which comes to pass when Berlioz slips on a puddle of sunflower oil and falls under a streetcar.
- Ivan Nikolayevich Ponyryov (Bezdomny)
- A young, aspiring poet. His pen name Bezdomny means "homeless". Initially a willing tool of the MASSOLIT apparatus, he is transformed by the events of the novel. He witnesses Berlioz's death and nearly goes mad, but later meets The Master in asylum and decides to stop writing poetry once and for all.
- Stephan Bogdanovich Likhodeyev
- Director of the Variety Theatre and Berlioz's roommate. Often called by diminutive name Styopa. His surname is derived from the Russian word for "malfeasant". For his wicked deeds (he denounced at least five innocent people as spies so that he and Berlioz can grab their multi-bedroom apartment), he is magically teleported to Yalta — thereby freeing up the stolen apartment for Woland and his retinue.
- Grigory Danilovich Rimsky
- Treasurer of the Variety Theatre. On the night of Woland's performance Rimsky is ambushed by Varenukha (who has been turned into a vampire by Woland's gang) and Hella. He barely escapes the encounter and flees to the train station to get out of the city.
- Ivan Savelyevich Varenukha
- House-manager of the Variety Theatre, whose surname refers to a traditional alcoholic fruit-punch resembling mulled wine. He is turned into a creature of darkness but is forgiven by the end of Walpurgis Night, restoring his humanity.
- Margarita's young maid, later turned into a witch.
- Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy
- Chairman of the House Committee at 302B Sadovaya Street (former residence of Berlioz). For his greed and trickery, was deceived by Koroviev and later arrested.
Woland and his retinue 
- A "foreign professor" who is "in Moscow to present a performance of 'black magic' and then expose its machinations". The exposure (as one could guess) never occurs, instead Woland exposes the greed and bourgeois behaviour of the spectators themselves. Satan in disguise.
- An enormous (said to be as large as a hog) demonic black cat who speaks, walks on two legs, and can even transform to human shape for brief periods. He has a penchant for chess, vodka, pistols, and obnoxious sarcasm. Evidently the least-respected member of Woland's team—even Margarita boldly takes to slapping Behemoth on the head after one of his many ill-timed jokes, without fear of retribution. His Russian name Begemot means hippopotamus, but also refers to the legendary Biblical monster.
- A purported "ex-choirmaster"; this may imply that Koroviev was once a member of an angelic choir. Woland's assistant, capable of creating any illusions. Unlike Behemoth and Azazello, does not use violence at any point.
- A menacing, fanged and wall-eyed member of Woland's retinue, a messenger and assassin, may be one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse. Possible reference to Azazel. In the Old Testament apocryphal Book of Enoch 8:1–3, Azazel is the fallen angel who taught people to make weapons and jewelry, and taught women the "sinful art" of painting their faces. This explains Azazello giving Margarita the magical cream.
- Beautiful, redheaded succubus. Serves as maid to Woland and his retinue. Remarked as being "perfect, were it not for a purple scar on her neck" – the scar suggesting that she is also a vampiress.
- The pale-faced, black-goggled angel of death.
Characters from The Master's novel 
- Pontius Pilate
- The Roman Procurator of Judaea, a procurator in this case being a governor of a small province. The title also alludes to the Russian office of Procurator (strictly inquisitor, loosely prosecutor). The real Pontius Pilate was the prefect of Judaea, not the procurator.
- Yeshua Ha-Notsri
- Wanderer, "mad philosopher", as Pilate calls him, whose name in Hebrew means either "Jesus who belongs to the Nazarene sect" or "Jesus who is from a place called Nazareth", though some commentators dispute the latter interpretation. The Master's version of Yeshua describes himself as an orphan, denies doing miracles, and apparently has only one full-time "Apostle", not twelve—among other departures from mainstream Christian tradition. The irony should not be overlooked that the Master's "secularized" Jesus proves to be more offensive to the atheist regime (including Berlioz) than a mystical, miracle-working Jesus would have been.
- Head of the Roman Secret Service in Judaea.
- Levi Matvei
- A Levite, former tax collector, follower of Yeshua, and author of the Gospel of St. Matthew. Although introduced as a semi-fictionalized character in the Master's novel, towards the end of The Master and Margarita the "real" Matthew makes a personal appearance in Moscow to deliver a message from Yeshua to Woland.
- Joseph Kaifa
- The High Priest of Judaea. Kaifa is interested in Yeshua's death in order to "protect" the status quo religion and his own status as the High Priest from the influence of Yeshua's preachings and followers.
- Judas of Kerioth
- A spy/informant hired by Kaifa to assist the authorities in finding and arresting Yeshua. In the Bible, Judas is a long-time member of Jesus's "inner circle" of Apostles, while Bulgakov's Judas meets Yeshua for the first time less than 48 hours before betraying him. Is paid off by Kaifa, but later assassinated on Pilate's orders for his role in Yeshua's death.
Themes and imagery 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (February 2010)|
Ultimately, the novel deals with the interplay of good and evil, innocence and guilt, courage and cowardice, exploring such issues as the responsibility towards truth when authority would deny it, and the freedom of the spirit in an unfree world. Love and sensuality are also dominant themes in the novel. Margarita's devotional love for the Master leads her to leave her husband, but she emerges victorious. Her spiritual union with the Master is also a sexual one. The novel is a riot of sensual impressions, but the emptiness of sensual gratification without love is emphatically illustrated in the satirical passages. However, the stupidity of rejecting sensuality for the sake of empty respectability is also pilloried in the figure of Nikolai Ivanovich who becomes Natasha's hog-broomstick. The interplay of fire, water, destruction and other natural forces provides a constant accompaniment to the events of the novel, as do light and darkness, noise and silence, sun and moon, storms and tranquility, and other powerful polarities. There is a complex relationship between Jerusalem and Moscow throughout the novel, sometimes polyphony, sometimes counterpoint.
The novel is heavily influenced by Goethe's Faust, and its themes of cowardice, trust, intellectual curiosity, and redemption are prominent. Part of its literary brilliance lies in the different levels on which it can be read, as hilarious slapstick, deep philosophical allegory, and biting socio-political satire critical of not just the Soviet system but also the superficiality and vanity of modern life in general – jazz is a favourite target, ambivalent like so much else in the book in the fascination and revulsion with which it is presented. But the novel is also full of modern amenities like the model asylum, radio, street and shopping lights, cars, lorries, trams, and air travel. There is little evident nostalgia for any "good old days" – in fact, the only figure in the book to even mention Tsarist Russia is Satan himself. In another of its facets, perhaps showing a different aspect of Goethe's influence, the book is a Bildungsroman with Ivan Nikolayevich as its focus. Furthermore, there are strong elements of Magical Realism in the novel.
Allusions and references to other works 
The novel is influenced by the Faust legend, particularly the first part of the Goethe interpretation and the opera by Charles Gounod. The work of Nikolai Gogol is also a heavy influence, as is the case with others of Bulgakov's novels. The dialogue between Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Notsri is strongly influenced by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's parable "The Grand Inquisitor" from The Brothers Karamazov. Reference is made to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in the luckless visitors chapter "everything became jumbled in the Oblonsky household". The theme of the Devil exposing society as an apartment block, as it could be seen if the entire facade would be removed, has some precedents in El Diablo cojuelo (1641, The Lame Devil or The Crippled Devil) by the Spaniard Luís Vélez de Guevara (famously adapted to 18th century France by Lesage's 1707 Le Diable boiteux(fr)).
Textual note 
The final chapters are late drafts that Bulgakov pasted to the back of his manuscript; he died before he could incorporate these chapters into a completed fourth draft.
English translations 
There are quite a few published English translations of The Master and Margarita, including but not limited to the following:
- Mirra Ginsburg, New York: Grove Press, 1967.
- Michael Glenny, New York: Harper & Row, 1967; London: Harvill, 1967; with introduction by Simon Franklin, New York: Knopf, 1992; London: Everyman's Library, 1992.
- Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor, annotations and afterword by Ellendea Proffer, Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1993, 1995; New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
- Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, London: Penguin, 1997.
- Michael Karpelson, Lulu Press, 2006.
- Hugh Aplin, One World Classics, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84749-014-8
Ginsburg's translation was from a censored Soviet text and is therefore incomplete.
The early translation by Glenny runs more smoothly than that of the modern translations; some Russian-speaking readers consider it to be the only one creating the desired effect, though it may be somewhat at liberty with the text. The modern translators pay for their attempted closeness by losing idiomatic flow.
However, according to Kevin Moss, who has at least two published papers on the book in literary journals[verification needed], the early translations by Ginsburg and Glenny are quite hurried and lack much critical depth. As an example, he claims that the more idiomatic translations miss Bulgakov's "crucial" reference to the devil in Berlioz's thought:
- "I ought to drop everything and run down to Kislovodsk." (Glenny)
- "It's time to throw everything to the devil and go to Kislovodsk." (Burgin, Tiernan O'Connor)
- "It's time to send it all to the devil and go to Kislovodsk." (Pevear, Volokhonsky)
- "To hell with everything, it's time to take that Kislovodsk vacation." (Karpelson)
- "It’s time to let everything go to the devil and be off to Kislovodsk.” (Aplin)
Several literary critics have hailed the Burgin/Tiernan O’Connor translation as the most accurate and complete English translation, particularly when read in tandem with the matching annotations by Bulgakov's biographer, Ellendea Proffer. However, these judgements predate the translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky. Professor Jeffrey Grossman of the University of Virginia promotes the Karpelson translation in his courses on Faust because Karpelson's rendition balances readability and idiomatic accuracy, though he notes that the book must be specially ordered and requested through the translator, who recalled the book after its publication.
A graphic novel, an adaption by Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal, published by Self Made Hero in 2008 provides a fresh visual translation/interpretation.
Cultural influence of the novel 
The book was listed in Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century.
"Manuscripts don't burn" 
A memorable and much-quoted line in The Master and Margarita is: "manuscripts don't burn" (Russian: рукописи не горят). The Master is a writer who is plagued by both his own mental problems and the harsh criticism of most of the soviet writers in the Moscow of the 1930s. He burns his treasured manuscript in an effort to cleanse his own mind from the troubles the work has brought him. Woland later gives the manuscript back to him saying, "Didn't you know that manuscripts don't burn?" There is an autobiographical element reflected in the Master's character here, as Bulgakov in fact burned an early copy of The Master and Margarita for much the same reasons.
The Bulgakov Museum in Moscow 
Bulgakov's old flat, in which parts of The Master and Margarita are set, has since the 1980s become a gathering spot for Bulgakov's fans, as well as Moscow-based Satanist groups, and had various kinds of graffiti scrawled on the walls. The numerous paintings, quips, and drawings were completely whitewashed in 2003. Previously the best drawings were kept as the walls were repainted, so that several layers of different colored paints could be seen around the best drawings. The building's residents, in an attempt to deter loitering, have turned the flat into a museum of Bulgakov's life and works.
The museum contains personal belongings, photos, and several exhibitions related to Bulgakov's life and his different works. Various poetic and literary events are often held in the flat.
Allusions and references from other works 
Various authors and musicians have credited The Master and Margarita as inspiration for certain works.
- It has been suggested that Mick Jagger may have been inspired by the novel in writing the song "Sympathy for the Devil". This is also suggested in Will Self's foreword to the Vintage edition of the Michael Glenny translation.
- The grunge band Pearl Jam were influenced by the novel's confrontation between Yeshua Ha-Nozri and Pontius Pilate for the song, "Pilate" on their 1998 album Yield.
- Surrealist artist H. R. Giger named a 1976 painting after the novel. The painting was later featured on the cover of Danzig's 1992 album Danzig III: How the Gods Kill.
- Russian heavy metal band Aria have a song "Feast at the Prince of Darkness" (Russian: Бал у Князя Тьмы) on their 2003's album Baptism by Fire.
- Russian pop singer Igor Nikolayev has a song "Master i Margarita" (Russian: Мастер и Mаргарита)
- Canadian band The Tea Party has a song entitled The Master and Margarita in their album The Interzone Mantras.
- Scottish band Franz Ferdinand's song "Love and Destroy" is based on Margarita in the novel
- Chicago-based punk rock band The Lawrence Arms referenced the novel several times on their album The Greatest Story Ever Told: it features a song called "Chapter 13: The Hero Appears", named after the same chapter in the book; names one of the band members (corresponding to guitarist Chris McCaughan) as Ivan Nikolayevich; features the lyric "text to burn" (in the song "A Wishful Puppeteer") in reference to the catch phrase "Manuscripts don't burn", see above; and also features the same quote from Faust in the liner notes.
- In the movie My Dinner With Andre Wallace Shawn describes an episode wherein he wore a cat's head as part of his costume in a stage production of The Master and Margarita.
- Swedish Stonerband Hong Faux uses imagery and references from the final chapters of the novel in the song "Sparrow Hills" from their debut album The crown that wears the head from 2012.
- Moscow chain Moo Moo Restaurant had for a brief period a mixed drink called "the Master Margarita." The drink was served in a cat-shaped glass.
- The book was adapted into a graphic novel in 2008 by Andrzej Klimowski] and Danusia Schejbal.
- A young artist Nadya Rusheva (1952–1969) became most famous for her graphic illustrations to the novel.
- 1971: Polish director Andrzej Wajda makes a movie Pilate and Others for German TV, based on the biblical part of the book ('The Master's manuscript').
- 1972: Joint Italian-Yugoslavian production of Aleksandar Petrović's The Master and Margaret (Italian: Il Maestro e Margherita, Serbo-Croatian: Majstor i Margarita) is released. Based loosely on the book, the main discrepancy is that Master in the movie has an actual name of Nikolaj Afanasijevic Maksudov, while in the original book Master is persistently anonymous.
- 1992: In an adaptation called Incident in Judaea by Paul Bryers, only the Yeshua story is told. The film includes a prologue which mentions Bulgakov and the other storylines. The cast includes John Woodvine, Mark Rylance, Lee Montague and Jim Carter. The film was distributed by Brook Productions and Channel 4.
- 1994: A Russian movie of the novel was made by Yuri Kara. Although the cast included big names and talented actors (Anastasiya Vertinskaya as Margarita, Mikhail Ulyanov as Pilate, Nikolai Burlyayev as Yeshua, Valentin Gaft as Woland, Aleksandr Filippenko as Korovyev-Fagot) and its score was by the noted Russian composer Alfred Schnittke, the movie was never actually released on any media. The grandson of Bulgakov's third wife Elena Sergeevna Shilovskaya claims, as a self-assigned heir, the rights on Bulgakov's literary inheritance and refuses the release. Since the beginning of 2006, however, copies of the movie exist on DVD. Some excerpts of it can be viewed on the Master and Margarita website. The movie was finally released in cinemas in 2011.
TV series 
- 1989: Polish director Maciej Wojtyszko makes Mistrz i Małgorzata, TV miniseries of four episodes.
- 2005: The Master and Margarita miniseries – Russian director Vladimir Bortko, famous for his TV adaptation of Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog and Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, makes a Master and Margarita TV miniseries of ten episodes. The miniseries was first released on 19 December 2005. It starred Aleksandr Galibin as The Master, Anna Kovalchuk as Margarita, Oleg Basilashvili as Woland, Aleksandr Abdulov as Korovyev-Fagot, Kirill Lavrov as Pontius Pilate, Valentin Gaft as Kaifa, Sergey Bezrukov as Yeshua.
Animated film 
- 2010: Israeli director Terentij Oslyabya makes an animation film The master and Margarita, chapter 1. His movie literally follows every word of the novel.
- 1971: From 1971 to 1977, all theatre adaptations of The Master and Margarita were Polish. They could not be called The Master and Margarita though. Therefore they were staged as Black Magic and Its Exposure (Kraków, 1971), Black Magic (Katowice, 1973), Have you seen Pontius Pilate? (Wrocław, 1974), and Patients (Wroclaw, 1976).
- 1977: Long a Soviet underground classic, Bulgakov's novel was finally brought to the Russian stage by the director Yuri Lyubimov at Moscow's Taganka Theatre.
- 1978: Stage production directed by Romanian-born American director Andrei Şerban at the New York Public Theater, starring John Shea. This seems to be the version revived in 1993 (see below).
- 1980: Stage production (Maestrul şi Margareta) directed by Romanian stage director Cătălina Buzoianu at The Little Theatre ("Teatrul Mic") in Bucharest, Romania. – Cast: Ştefan Iordache as Master, Valeria Seciu as Margareta, Dan Condurache as Woland, Mitică Popescu as Koroviev, Gheorghe Visu as Ivan Bezdomny / Matthew Levi, Sorin Medeleni as Behemoth.
- 1982: Stage production (Mästaren och Margarita) directed by Swedish stage director Peter Luckhaus at the National Theatre of Sweden Dramaten in Stockholm, Sweden – Cast: Rolf Skoglund as Master, Margaretha Byström as Margareta, Jan Blomberg as Woland, Ernst-Hugo Järegård as Berlioz/Stravinskij/Pontius Pilate, Stellan Skarsgård as Koroviev and Örjan Ramberg as Ivan/Levi Mattei.
- 1992: At the Lyric Hammersmith in June the Four Corners theatre company presented a distillation of the novel, translated by Michael Denny and adapted and directed for the stage by David Graham-Young (of Contemporary Stage). The production transferred to the Almeida Theatre in July 1992.
- 1993: The Theatre for the New City produced a stage adaptation in New York City, originally commissioned by Joseph Papp and the Public Theater. The adaptation was by Jean-Claude van Itallie. It was directed by David Willinger and featured a cast of 13 including Jonathan Teague Cook as Woland, Eric Rasmussen as Matthew Levi, Cesar Rodriguez as Yeshua Ha Nozri, Eran Bohem as The Master and Lisa Moore as Margarita. This version was published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. A French version using part of van Itallie's text was performed at the Théâtre de Mercure, Paris, directed by Andrei Serban.
- 1994: Stage production at Montreal's Centaur Theatre, adapted and directed by Russian-Canadian director Alexandre Marine.
- In 2000, an Israeli theater Gesher produced a stage adaptation, based on the Hebrew translation of the book by Ehud Manor. Starring Haim Topol, Evgeny Gamburg, Israel "Sasha" Demidov and others, the show premiered on 26 December 2000. Combining special effects and a 23 musician orchestra, the show was hailed a success.
- A German language stage adaptation of the novel, Der Meister und Margarita, directed by Frank Castorf premiered in the summer of 2002 at the Vienna Festival, Austria, and is discussed in the August/September 2002 or 08|09 02 issue of the German language theater magazine, Theater heute.
- 2004 An adaptation of the novel by Edward Kemp and directed by Steven Pimlott was staged in July 2004 at the Chichester Festival Theatre, UK. The cast included Samuel West as the Master and Michael Feast as "the dazzling devil incarnate, Woland with a retinue that includes a man-size back cat Behemoth". The production included incidental music by one of Pimlott's regular composers, Jason Carr.
- 2004: The National Youth Theatre produced a new stage adaptation by David Rudkin at the Lyric Hammersmith London, directed by John Hoggarth. It featured a cast of 35 and ran from 23 August to 11 September. In 2005, Rudkin's adaptation received a further, stylistically different, production with a cast of thirteen, at Aberystwyth University Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Theatr y Castell, directed by David Ian Rabey.
- In 2006 an almost 5 hour long adaptation was staged by Georgian director Avtandil Varsimashvili.
- In 2007, Helsinki, Finland. Production is put on stage under the name Saatana saapuu Moskovaan (Satan comes to Moscow) by the group theatre Ryhmäteatteri, directed by Finnish director Esa Leskinen. Eleven talented actors played in 26 separate roles in the amazing and successful theathrical performance of three hours during the season 25 September 2007 – 1.3.2008.
- In 2007, Alim Kouliev in Hollywood with The Master Project production started rehearsals on stage with his own stage adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita. The production was announced for 14 October 2007 but was postponed. Some excerpts and information of it can be viewed on the Master and Margarita website. The production is still in progress.
- In 2008 a Swedish stage production of Mästaren och Margarita directed by Leif Stinnerbom was performed at Stockholms stadsteater, starring Philip Zandén (the Master), Frida Westerdahl (Margarita), Jakob Eklund (Woland) and Ingvar Hirdwall (Pilate).
- In 2010 a new, original stage translation, written by Max Hoehn and Raymond Blankenhorn, was used as the Oxford University Dramatic Society Summer Tour, performing in Oxford, Battersea Arts Centre in London and at C Venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
- In 2011 award winning theatre company Complicite premiered its new adaptation, directed by Simon McBurney at Theatre Royal Plymouth. It toured to Luxembourg, London, Madrid, Vienna, Recklinghausen, Amsterdam. In July 2012 it tours to the Festival d'Avignon and the Grec Festival in Barcelona.
Ballet, dance theatre 
- In 2003 the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, Russia, presented Master i Margarita, a new full-length ballet set to music by Gustav Mahler, Dmitri Shostakovich, Hector Berlioz, Astor Piazzolla and other composers. Choreography and staging by David Avdysh, set design by Simon Pastukh (USA) and costume design by Galina Solovyova (USA). In 2007 the National Opera of Ukraine, Kiev, premiered David Avdysh's The Master and Margarita, a ballet-phantasmagoria in two acts.
- 2010: Synetic Theater presents the re-staging of The Master and Margarita directed by Paata Tsikirishvili and choreographed by Irina Tsikurishvili. The show featured a cast of 16, including Paata Tsikirishvili as Master and Irina Tsikurishvili as Margarita and ran from 11 November to 12 December 2010 at the Lansburgh Theatre.
Opera, musical 
- 1972: 3-act chamber opera The Master and Margarita by Russian composer Sergei Slonimsky was completed, but not allowed to be performed or published; its concert premiere took place in Moscow on 20 May 1989, and the score was released in 1991. An abridged Western premiere took place in Hannover, in June 2000.
- 1997: A musical adaptation written by Richard Crane and directed by his wife Faynia Williams was presented at the Edinbrugh Fringe Festival by the University of Bradford Drama Group at Bedlam Theatre. It went on to win a Fringe First award, garnering excellent reviews and became an iconic tale of success at the fringe.
- 1989: The German composer York Höller's opera Der Meister und Margarita was premiered in 1989 at the Paris Opéra and released on CD in 2000.
- On 25 August 2006, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced that he aimed to turn the novel into "a stage musical or, more probably, an opera". However, in 2007 The Stage, an online theatre website, confirmed that he has abandoned his attempt to compose a musical version of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. "I’ve decided that it's undo-able. It's just too difficult for an audience to contemplate. It's a very complicated novel."
- In late 2009, a Russian singer and composer Alexander Gradsky released a 4-CD opera adaptation of the novel. It stars Gradsky himself as Master, Woland, Yeshua and Behemoth, Nikolai Fomenko as Koroviev, Mikhail Seryshev (formerly of Master) as Ivan, Elena Minina as Margarita and many renowned Russian singers and actors in episodic roles, including (but not limited to) Iosif Kobzon, Lyubov Kazarnovskaya, Andrei Makarevich, Alexander Rosenbaum, Arkady Arkanov, Gennady Khazanov and the late Georgi Millyar (voice footage from one of his movies was used).
- 2011: Australian composer and domra (Russian mandolin) player Stephen Lalor presented his "Master & Margarita Suite" of instrumental pieces in concert at the Bulgakov Museum Moscow in July 2011, performed on Russian instruments domra, cimbalom, bass balalaika and bayan.
- In 2009, Portuguese new media artists Video Jack premiered an audiovisual art performance inspired by the novel at Kiasma, Helsinki, as part of the PixelAche Festival. Since then, it has been shown in festivals in different countries, having won an honorable mention award at Future Places Festival, Porto. The project was released as a net art version later that year.
- The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB
- Neil Cornwell, Nicole Christian (1998). Reference guide to Russian literature. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-884964-10-7.
- Spaso House: 75 Years of History, U.S. Embassy Moscow website
- "Master: Russian Editions". Archived from the original on 20 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
- Spaso House; 75 years: A Short History. (pg. 18–20).
- *Watch video by Vitaly Mendeleev of Ambassador Beyrle's Enchanted Ball at Spaso House, 29 October 2010
- Yeshua Ha-Notsri, Kevin Moss
- Susan Amert (2002). The Dialectics of Closure in Bulgakov's Master and Margarita (PDF). Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Sarvas, Mark. "The Elegant Variation: A Literary Weblog". Retrieved 2006-10-25.
- Moss, Kevin. "Published English Translations". Archived from the original on 24 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-25.
- Weeks, Laura D. (1996). Master and Margarita: A Critical Companion. Northwestern University Press. p. 244. ISBN 0-8101-1212-4.
- Stephen, Chris. "Devil-worshippers target famous writer's Moscow flat". The Irish Times, Saturday, 5 February 2005. Page 9.
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- Mukherjee, Neel (9 May 2008). "The Master and Margarita: A graphic novel by Mikhail Bulakov". London: The Times Online. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- Pilatus und andere – Ein Film für Karfreitag at the Internet Movie Database
- Il maestro e Margherita (1972) at the Internet Movie Database
- Master i Margarita (1994) at the Internet Movie Database
- 'Mistrz i Malgorzata (1990) at the Internet Movie Database
- "The master and Margarita, chapter 1, film by Terentij Oslyabya".
- "The Master and Margarita website – Performance arts". Masterandmargarita.eu.
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- Theatre Record Index 1992
-  (Use the Archive link on the left at the above site to access information for 2002 issues.)
- Review by John Thaxter for What's On (London, 11 August 2004)
- Minogue, Kenneth (23 August 2004). "Bulgakov's Master and Margarita at the Chichester Festival". Social Affairs Unit. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- Theatre Record Index 2004
- "United state Copyright Office. Kouliev Alim. Master and Margarita. K.PAu003336612". USA copyright office f. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "The Master and Margarita Project.". masterandmargarita.org. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "The Devil World in The City of Angels" (in Russian). stihi.ru. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- "Mästren och Margarita av Michail Bulgakov" (in Swedish). Stockholm City Theatre. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
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- "The Master and Margarita – Music – David Avdysh". Masterandmargarita.eu. 14 July 1952.
- [dead link]
- Andrew Lloyd Webber (25 August 2006). "Revealed: My next project!". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
- "Master and Margarita: An opera in two acts and four scenes". AlexanderGradsky.com.
- "п▒я┐п╩пЁп╟п╨п╬п╡". Bulgakovmuseum.ru.
- "Master and Margarita – Pixelache 09". Retrieved 2010-03-24.
- "...and the winner is...". Retrieved 2010-03-24.
- "Video Jack – Master and Margarita". Retrieved 2010-03-24.
Scott Steindorff owns and controls the movie rights of The Master and Margarita and is making a movie based on the book in the summer of 2012. Steindorff also owns the rights to do a musical adaptation of The Master and Margarita in the fall of 2012.
- G. Lukács, Studies in European Realism, (Merlin, 1973)
- G. Lukács, The Meaning of Contemporary Realism, (Merlin, 1974)
Secondary Sources 
- Haber, Edythe C. "The Mythic Structure of Bulgakov's 'The Master'," in The Russia Review, October, 1975, pp. 382–409.
- Hart, Pierre S. " The Master and Margarita as Creative Process," in Modern Fiction Studies, Summer, 1973, pp. 169–78.
- Moss, Kevin. "Bulgakov's Master and Margarita: Masking the Supernatural and the Secret Police," Russian Language Journal, Vol. 38, Nos. 129–30 (1984), 115–131
- Reidel-Schrewe, Ursula, "Key and Tripod in Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita", Neophilologus journal, v.79, n.2, April 1995, p. 273–282.
- Tumanov, Vladimir. (1989) "Diabolus ex Machina – Bulgakov's Modernist Devil." Scando-Slavica 35: 49–61.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: The Master and Margarita|
- Full text of The Master and Margarita in English
- (English) (French) (Dutch) (Russian) Master and Margarita Amateur site, devoted solely to Bulgakov's Master and Margarita
- (Russian) Bulgakov museum in Moscow. The Odd Flat
- (Russian) Diary of Bulgakov museum in Moscow
- (Russian) Bulgakov museum in Russian Wikipedia
- Bulgakov and The Master and Margarita: Useful introduction with lots of illustrative material
- The Master and Margarita: Excerpts in three languages
- Russians Await a Cult Novel's Film Debut With Eagerness and Skepticism: at The New York Times
- Master and Margarita at the Internet Movie Database
- Watch video of Ambassador John Beyrle's 2010 recreation of the 1935 Spring Ball at Spaso House, attended by Bulgakov, which inspired the Ball in The Master and Margarita
- Parallel translation of The Master and Margarita in Russian and English
- God, Evil, and the Saviour: Hermeneutics and the Reconstruction of a Character In Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita.