Master and Margarita

Here’s one for the atheists: two atheists are sitting in a Moscow park, discussing the poem one wrote dissing Jesus. Then the devil walks up to them and says: “Pardon my interruption, but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation…”

Thus starts Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece Master and Margarita, a searing celebration of the individual. Seeing as he wrote this during the warm fuzzy rule of one Joe Stalin, it is probably not surprising that Bulgakov kept this work well-hidden, so that he became one of the few Russian authors of those days who actually died of natural causes.

Project Gutenberg Europe, based in Serbia and Montenegro (Life+50 copyright regime), has recently released the Russian text of this book, together with the famous works of many other famous authors.

You can see the entire list of fresh Life+50 etexts linked from Project Gutenberg European Union. Remember kids, downloading may be bad. On the other hand, listening to copyright extremists leads to impotence and hair loss. Your choice.

(Tidbit from the Wikipedia article on the book: “Bulgakov’s old flat, in which parts of the novel are set, since 1980s has become a target for Moscow-based Satanist groups, as well as of Bulgakov’s fans, and defaced with various kinds of graffitti. The building’s residents, in an attempt to deter these groups, are currently attempting to turn the flat into a museum of Bulgakov’s life and works. Unfortunately, they are having trouble contacting the flat’s anonymous owner.”)

2 responses to “Master and Margarita”

  1. Russia has a somewhat different copyright law – unlimited use for educational purposes – so the full text of the Master and Margarita (along with any other Russian book you can think of) has long been available on the excellent site. There are translated texts there, too, for the adventurous.

  2. Branko Collin says:

    Heh, pouncing onto your trackbacks? :-)

    Thanks for the info on Russian copyright law. I knew about the translations, but figured the web-savvy know where to look.

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