The Master and MargaritaTranslation Recommendation?
Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:43 AM
Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:47 AM
As I'm sure you know, Balanchine gave it to Suzanne Farrell to read. It took me some time to get into the book but it casts a spell. Enjoy and please tell us about it here when you do read it.
Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:52 AM
Here's a good summary of the differences in the translators' choices (it does give Pevear/V good marks). And please post a review if you read it, miliosr. I read it years ago but think I would appreciate now it more if I picked it up again.
Encyclopedia of literary translation, p 195
Interesting, dirac, about Balanchine's sympathy to Bulgakov.
Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:31 AM
I do know that Marianne Faithfull gave Mick Jagger the original translation during the 1960s and that inspired "Sympathy For the Devil".
Thanks dirac and Quiggin for responding. I will go with the Burgin/O'Connor translation and see how that works for me.
Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:34 PM
Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:56 AM
Yes, it does. I, too found the first half or so a slog - it's mostly devoted to political satire and while I understand that's important to Bulgakov and the book it didn't pull me in as the story of the Master and Margarita did.
Posted 28 May 2011 - 04:43 AM
Posted 04 June 2011 - 09:06 AM
***STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT AND YOU DON'T WANT TO READ SPOILERS***
The biggest obstacle for me was the relationship between the Master and Margarita itself. For the life of me, I could never figure out what Margarita saw in him that would possess her to go to such lengths to save him. If ever there was a non-heroic hero, it is the Master. He drifts through the novel almost as an actionless wraith, and what actions he does take are almost entirely negative. I just never bought the notion that a dynamo like Margarita would be drawn to someone like the Master. But, then, maybe that's more my limitation that Bulgakov's.
Another problem I had with the novel occurred after Woland's grand ball when he grants Margarita her wish. Of course, Margarita doesn't choose to free the Master from his incarceration at the mental institution (as the reader no doubt expects her to do.) Instead, she asks for absolution for the Frieda character, who murdered the baby she gave birth to after she was raped. This is Christian mercy at its very finest. But then, Woland grants Margarita a second favor and, later, Woland and Yeshua (Jesus) conspire to free the Master and Margarita from the their dire condition. I can't explain why but all of this felt like a cheat to me. What am I not grasping?????
On a happier note, Chapter 23 ('Satan's Grand Ball') is simply outstanding. Also, the book itself is very funny at times. There is much anarchic humor (usually involving the cat, Behemoth) which is redolent of the Marx Brothers but taken to almost lunatic extremes. And the fact that there are 33 chapters is a clever touch.
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