Resource Archive

posted on 31 Oct 2018

Life Got You Down? Time to Read The Master and Margarita by Viv Groskop

This article has been published on The Literary Hub. It begins:

If many Russian classics are dark and deep and full of the horrors of the blackness of the human soul (or, indeed, are about the Gulag), then this is the one book to buck the trend. Of all the Russian classics, The Master and Margarita is undoubtedly the most cheering. It’s funny, it’s profound and it has to be read to be believed. In some ways, the book has an odd reputation. It is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century and as a masterpiece of magical realism, but it’s very common even for people who are very well read not to have heard of it, although among Russians you have only to mention a cat the size of a pig and apricot juice that makes you hiccup and everyone will know what you are talking about. Most of all, it is the book that saved me when I felt like I had wasted my life. It’s a novel that encourages you not to take yourself too seriously, no matter how bad things have got. The Master and Margarita is a reminder that, ultimately, everything is better if you can inject a note of silliness and of the absurd. Not only is this a possibility at any time; occasionally, it’s an absolute necessity: “You’ve got to laugh. Otherwise you’d cry.”

You can continue reading the full article on this link to The Literary Hub