~Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita~
This is a devastatingly beautiful satire of former Soviet Union life. Two stories, written in parallel, take you through a quaking account of life. And may inspire you to ask yourself some questions.
What would you be willing to do for love?
I have it on good authority The Master and Margarita is Russia’s most beloved book. This book was gifted to me by a very dear friend who told me “every intellectual must read this book.” Yes, I agree with him. To a point.
Every creative must read this book.
Every romantic, acknowledged or closeted, must read this book.
What would your good do?
Every person who yearns to feel (something, anything) must read this book.
Every person who loves literature must read this book!
I have gifted this book to a small number of people. When I’ve given a copy of The Master and Margarita to a person, I haven’t done so lightly. I have no desire to indiscriminately share Mikhail Bulgakov because not everyone will get him.
If Bulgakov doesn’t speaks speak to you, it will be absolutely repellant! But, if it clicks with you, he will stir your soul. And I’m not throwing platitudes and waxing poetic.
And, one time, a friend to whom I gave a copy of this book admitted to me he did not even open up the cover to attempt to read. I was surprised, and honestly, yes, I judged him. A bit. Not for not liking the book. I accept there are different preferences.
Admittedly, I really thought this friend would find so many themes and philosophies resonate with him. But through his explanation, he gave some of his cover away. I saw my friend in a different light. The whole rejection of the world inside this story actually served as a painfully poignant metaphor to frame the tenuous framework of an impassioned friendship (PG13 folks, nothing crazy here). Everyone has their preferences, but how does one who postures themselves to be a creative intellectual not yearn to read? At all? This may be a harsher criticism on me to beg the question than onto my friend… I understand that, at least.
Every person who sees startling beauty in yellow flowers… must read this book.
“But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings. Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You’re stupid.”
What book quakes your soul?