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Master and Margarita


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English translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. This translation published in PENGUIN BOOKS, 1997.
Illustrations by Charlie Stone.

MIKTEX LATEX typesetting by Josef Nygrin, in March 2008.

Some rights reserved c

2008 Josef Nygrin
Introduction 1
Note and Acknowledgements 13
Book I. 15
1 Never Talk with Strangers 17
2 Pontius Pilate 30
3 The Seventh Proof 54
4 The Chase 59
5 There were Doings at Griboedovs 67
6 Schizophrenia, as was Said 79
7 A Naughty Apartment 87
8 The Combat between the Professor and the Poet 98
9 Korovievs Stunts 106
10 News From Yalta 115
11 Ivan Splits in Two 126
12 Black Magic and Its Exposure 130
13 The Hero Enters 144
14 Glory to the Cock! 162
15 Nikanor Ivanovichs Dream 170
16 The Execution 182
17 An Unquiet Day 194
18 Hapless Visitors 206
Book II. 227
19 Margarita 229
20 Azazellos Cream 242
21 Flight 247
22 By Candlelight 260
23 The Great Ball at Satans 273
24 The Extraction of the Master 288
25 How the Procurator Tried to Save Judas of Kiriath 309
26 The Burial 319
27 The End of Apartment No.50 340
28 The Last Adventures of Koroviev and Behemoth 355
29 The Fate of the Master and Margarita is Decided 367
30 Its Time! Its Time! 372
31 On Sparrow Hills 383
32 Forgiveness and Eternal Refuge 387
Epilogue 393
Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov 405


Nun gut, wer bist du denn?

Ein Teil von jener Kraft, Die stets das Bo¨ se will und stets das Gute schafft.
Who then art thou?

Part of that power which still Produceth good, whilst ever scheming ill. 1

1The epigraph comes from the scene entitled Fausts Study in the first part of the drama Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (17491842). The question is asked by Faust; the answer comes from the demon Mephistopheles.
Bulgakov originally considered including the epigraph from Goethes Faust in the origi- nal German. The line comes shortly after Mephistopheles appears in Fausts study, hav- ing followed him in as a black poodle.


Mikhail Bulgakov worked on this luminous book throughout one of the darkest decades of the century. His last revisions were dictated to his wife a few weeks before his death in 1940 at the age of forty-nine. For him, there was never any question of publishing the novel. The mere existence of the manuscript, had it come to the knowledge of Stalins police, would almost certainly have led to the permanent disappearance of its author. Yet the book was of great importance to him, and he clearly believed that a time would come when it could be published. Another twenty-six years had to pass before events bore out that belief and The Master and Margarita, by what seems a surprising oversight in Soviet literary politics, finally ap- peared in print. The effect was electrifying.
The monthly magazine Moskva, otherwise a rather cautious and quiet publication, carried the first part of The Master and Margarita in its Novem- ber 1966 issue. The 150,000 copies sold out within hours. In the weeks that followed, group readings were held, people meeting each other would quote and compare favourite passages, there was talk of little else. Cer- tain sentences from the novel immediately became proverbial. The very language of the novel was a contradiction of everything wooden, official, imposed. It was a joy to speak.
When the second part appeared in the January 1967 issue of Moskva, it was greeted with the same enthusiasm. Yet this was not the excitement caused by the emergence of a new writer, as when Aleksandr Solzhenit- syns One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich appeared in the magazine Novy Mir in 1962. Bulgakov was neither unknown nor forgotten. His plays had begun to be revived in theatres during the late fifties and were published in 1962. His superb Life of Monsieur de Moliere came out in that same year. His early stories were reprinted. Then, in 1965, came the Theatrical Novel, based on his years of experience with Stanislavskys renowned Moscow Art Theatre. And finally in 1966 a volume of Selected Prose was published, containing the complete text of Bulgakovs first novel. The White Guard, written in the twenties and dealing with nearly contemporary events of the Russian civil war in his native Kiev and the Ukraine, a book which in its clear-sighted portrayal of human courage and weakness ranks among the truest depictions of war in all of literature.
Bulgakov was known well enough, then. But, outside a very small group, the existence of The Master and Margarita was completely unsus- pected. That certainly accounts for some of the amazement caused by its publication. It was thought that virtually all of Bulgakov had found its way into print. And here was not some minor literary remains but a major novel, the authors crowning work. Then there were the qualities of the novel itself its formal originality, its devastating satire of Soviet life, and of Soviet literary life in particular, its theatrical rendering of the Great Terror of the thirties, the audacity of its portrayal of Jesus Christ and Pon- tius Pilate, not to mention Satan. But, above all, the novel breathed an air of freedom, artistic and spiritual, which had become rare indeed, not only in Soviet Russia. We sense it in the special tone of Bulgakovs writ- ing, a combination of laughter (satire, caricature, buffoonery) and the most unguarded vulnerability. Two aphorisms detachable from the novel may suggest something of the complex nature of this freedom and how it may have struck the novels first readers. One is the much-quoted Manuscripts dont burn, which seems to express an absolute trust in the triumph of poetry, imagination, the free word, over terror and oppression, and could thus become a watchword of the intelligentsia. The publication of The Master and Margarita was taken as a proof of the assertion. In fact, during a moment of fear early in his work on the novel, Bulgakov did burn what he had written. And yet, as we see, it refused to stay burned. This moment of fear, however, brings me to the second aphorism - Cowardice is the most terrible of vices - which is repeated with slight variations several times in the novel. More penetrating than the defiant Manuscripts dont burn, this word touched the inner experience of generations of Russians. To por- tray that experience with such candour required another sort of freedom and a love for something more than culture. Gratitude for such perfect expression of this other, deeper freedom must surely have been part of the enthusiastic response of readers to the novels first appearance.
And then there was the sheer unlikeliness of its publication. By 1966 the thaw that had followed Stalins death was over and a new freeze was coming. The hopes awakened by the publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the first public acknowledgement of the existence of the Gulag, had been disappointed. In 1964 came the notorious trial of the poet Joseph Brodsky, and a year later the trial of the writers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, both sentenced to terms in that same Gulag. Solzhenitsyn saw a new Stalinization approaching, made worse by the terrible sense of repetition, stagnation and helplessness. Such was the monotonously grim atmosphere of the Brezhnev era. And in the midst of it there suddenly burst The Master and Margarita, not only an anomaly but an impossibility, a sort of cosmic error, evidence of some hidden but fatal crack in the system of Soviet power. People kept asking, how could they have let it happen?
Bulgakov began work on the first version of the novel early in 1929, or possibly at the end of 1928. It was abandoned, taken up again, burned, resurrected, recast and revised many times. It accompanied Bulgakov through the period of greatest suffering for his people the period of forced collectivization and the first five-year plan, which decimated Rus- sias peasantry and destroyed her agriculture, the period of expansion of the system of corrective labour camps, of the penetration of the secret police into all areas of life, of the liquidation of the intelligentsia, of vast party purges and the Moscow show trials. In literature the same strug- gle went on in miniature, and with the same results. Bulgakov was not arrested, but by 1930 he found himself so far excluded that he could no longer publish or produce his work. In an extraordinarily forthright letter to the central government, he asked for permission to emigrate, since the hostility of the literary powers made it impossible for him to live. If emigration was not permitted, and if I am condemned to keep silent in the Soviet Union for the rest of my days, then I ask the Soviet government to give me a job in my specialty and assign me to a theatre as a titular director. Stalin himself answered this letter by telephone on 17 April, and shortly afterwards the Moscow Art Theatre hired Bulgakov as an assistant director and literary consultant. However, during the thirties only his stage adaptations of Gogols Dead Souls and Cervantes Don Quixote were granted a normal run. His own plays either were not staged at all or were quickly withdrawn, and his Life of Monsieur de Moliere, written in 19325 for the collection Lives of Illustrious Men, was rejected by the publisher. These circumstances are everywhere present in The Master and Margarita, which was in part Bulgakovs challenge to the rule of terror in literature. The successive stages of his work on the novel, his changing evaluations of the nature of the book and its characters, reflect events in his life and his deepening grasp of what was at stake in the struggle. I will briefly sketch what the study of his archives has made known of this process.
The novel in its definitive version is composed of two distinct but interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem (called Yershalaim). Its central characters are Woland (Satan) and his retinue, the poet Ivan Homeless, Pontius Pilate, an unnamed writer known as the master, and Margarita. The Pilate story is condensed into four chapters and focused on four or five large-scale figures. The Moscow story includes a whole array of minor characters. The Pilate story, which passes through a succession of narrators, finally joins the Moscow story at the end, when the fates of Pilate and the master are simultaneously decided. The earliest version, narrated by a first-person chronicler and entitled The Engineers Hoof, was written in the first few months of 1929. It contained no trace of Margarita and only a faint hint of the master in a minor character representing the old intelligentsia. The Pilate story was confined to a single chapter. This version included the essentials of the Moscow satire, which afterwards underwent only minor revisions and re- arrangements. It began in much the same way as the definitive version, with a dialogue between a peoples poet and an editor (here of an anti- religious magazine. The Godless) on the correct portrayal of Christ as an exploiter of the proletariat. A stranger (Woland) appears and, surprised at their unbelief, astounds them with an eyewitness account of Christs crucifixion. This account forms the second chapter, entitled The Gospel of Woland.
Clearly, what first spurred Bulgakov to write the novel was his outrage at the portrayals of Christ in Soviet anti-religious propaganda (The Godless was an actual monthly magazine of atheism, published from 1922 to 1940). His response was based on a simple reversal a vivid circumstantial nar- rative of what was thought to be a myth invented by the ruling class, and a breaking down of the self-evident reality of Moscow life by the intrusion of the stranger. This device, fundamental to the novel, would be more fully elaborated in its final form. Literary satire was also present from the start. The fifth chapter of the definitive version, entitled There were Do- ings at Griboedovs, already appeared intact in this earliest draft, where it was entitled Mania Furibunda. In May of 1929, Bulgakov sent this chapter to a publisher, who rejected it. This was his only attempt to publish anything from the novel.
The second version, from later in the same year, was a reworking of the first four chapters, filling out certain episodes and adding the death of Ju- das to the second chapter, which also began to detach itself from Woland and become a more autonomous narrative. According to the authors wife, Elena Sergeevna, Bulgakov partially destroyed these two versions in the spring of 1930 threw them in the fire, in the writers own words. What survived were two large notebooks with many pages torn out. This was at the height of the attacks on Bulgakov . in the press, the moment of his letter to the government.
After that came some scattered notes in two notebooks, kept intermit- tently over the next two years, which was a very difficult time for Bul- gakov. In the upper-right-hand corner of the second, he wrote:
Lord, help me to finish my novel, 1931.
In a fragment of a later chapter, entitled Wolands Flight, there is a reference to someone addressed familiarly as ty, who is told that he will meet with Schubert and clear mornings. This is obviously the master, though he is not called so. There is also the first mention of the name of Margarita. In Bulgakovs mind, the main outlines of a new conception of the novel were evidently already clear.
This new version he began to write in earnest in October of 1932, dur- ing a visit to Leningrad with Elena Sergeevna, whom he had just married. (The model for Margarita, who had now entered the composition, she was previously married to a high-ranking military official, who for some time opposed her wish to leave him for the writer, leading Bulgakov to think he would never see her again.) His wife was surprised that he could set to work without having any notes or earlier drafts with him, but Bul- gakov explained, I know it by heart. He continued working, not without long interruptions, until 1936. Various new tides occurred to him, all still referring to Satan as the central figure The Great Chancellor, Satan, Here I Am, The Black Theologian, He Has Come, The Hoofed Consultant. As in the earliest version, the time of the action is 24 5 June, the feast of St John, traditionally a time of magic enchantments (later it was moved to the time of the spring full moon). The nameless friend of Margarita is called Faust in some notes, though not in the text itself. He is also called the poet, and is made the author of a novel which corresponds to the Gospel of Woland from the first drafts. This historical section is now broken up and moved to a later place in the novel, coming closer to what would be the arrangement in the final version.
Bulgakov laboured especially over the conclusion of the novel and what reward to give the master. The ending appears for the first time in a chapter entitled Last Flight, dating from July 1956. It differs little from the final version. In it, however, the master is told explicitly and directly:
The house on Sadovaya and the horrible Bosoy will vanish from your memory, but with them will go Ha-Nozri and the forgiven hegemon. These things are not for your spirit. You will never raise yourself higher, you will not see Yeshua, you will never leave your refuge.
In an earlier note, Bulgakov had written even more tellingly: You will not hear the liturgy. But you will listen to the romantics... These words, which do not appear in the definitive text, tell us how painfully Bulgakov weighed the question of cowardice and guilt in considering the fate of his hero, and how we should understand the ending of the final version. They also indicate a thematic link between Pilate, the master, and the author himself, connecting the historical and contemporary parts of the novel.
In a brief reworking from 1936-7, Bulgakov brought the beginning of the Pilate story back to the second chapter, where it would remain, and in another reworking from 1937-8 he finally found the definitive tide for the novel. In this version, the original narrator, a characterized chronicler, is removed. The new narrator is that fluid voice moving freely from detached observation to ironic double voicing, to the most personal interjection - which is perhaps the finest achievement of Bulgakovs art.
The first typescript of The Master and Margarita, dating to 1958, was dictated to the typist by Bulgakov from this last revision, with many changes along the way. In 1939 he made further alterations in the typescript, the most important of which concerns the fate of the hero and heroine. In the last manuscript version, the fate of the master and Margarita, announced to them by Woland, is to follow Pilate up the path of moonlight to find Yeshua and peace. In the typescript, the fate of the master, announced to Woland by Matthew Levi, speaking for Yeshua, is not to follow Pilate but to go to his eternal refuge with Margarita, in a rather German-Romantic setting, with Schuberts music and blossoming cherry trees. Asked by Woland, But why dont you take him with you into the light? Levi replies in a sorrowful voice, He does not deserve the light, he deserves peace. Bulgakov, still pondering the problem of the masters guilt (and his own, for what he considered various compromises, including his work on a play about Stalins youth), went back to his notes and revisions from 1936, but lightened their severity with an enigmatic irony. This was to be the definitive resolution. Clearly, the master is not to be seen as a heroic martyr for art or a Christ-figure. Bulgakovs gentle irony is a warning against the mistake, more common in our time than we might think, of equating artistic mastery with a sort of saintliness, or, in Kierkegaards terms, of confusing the aesthetic with the ethical.
In the evolution of The Master and Margarita, the Moscow satire of Wola- nd and his retinue versus the literary powers and the imposed normality of Soviet life in general is there from the first, and comes to involve the master when he appears, acquiring details from the writers own life and with them a more personal tone alongside the bantering irreverence of the demonic retinue. The Pilate story, on the other hand, the story of an act of cowardice and an interrupted dialogue, gains in weight and independence as Bulgakovs work progresses. From a single inset episode, it becomes the centrepiece of the novel, setting off the contemporary events and serving as their measure. In style and form it is a counterpoint to the rest of the book. Finally, rather late in the process, the master and Margarita appear, with Margarita coming to dominate the second part of the novel. Her story is a romance in the old sense - the celebration of a beautiful woman, of a true love, and of personal courage.
These three stories, in form as well as content, embrace virtually all that was excluded from official Soviet ideology and its literature. But if the confines of socialist realism are utterly exploded, so are the confines of more traditional novelistic realism. The Master and Margarita as a whole is a consistently free verbal construction which, true to its own premises, can re-create ancient Jerusalem in the smallest physical detail, but can also alter the specifics of the New Testament and play variations on its prin- cipal figures, can combine the realities of Moscow life with witchcraft, vampirism, the tearing off and replacing of heads, can describe for sev- eral pages the sensation of flight on a broomstick or the gathering of the infamous dead at Satans annual spring ball, can combine the most acute sense of the fragility of human life with confidence in its indestructibility. Bulgakov underscores the continuity of this verbal world by having cer- tain phrases Oh, gods, my gods, Bring me poison, Even by moonlight I have no peace migrate from one character to another, or to the narrator. A more conspicuous case is the Pilate story itself, successive parts of which are told by Woland, dreamed by the poet Homeless, written by the master, and read by Margarita, while the whole preserves its stylistic unity. Nar- row notions of the imitation of reality break down here. But The Master and Margarita is true to the broader sense of the novel as a freely develop- ing form embodied in the works of Dostoevsky and Gogol, of Swift and Sterne, of Cervantes, Rabelais and Apuleius. The mobile but personal nar- rative voice of the novel, the closest model for which Bulgakov may have found in Gogols Dead Souls, is the perfect medium for this continuous verbal construction. There is no multiplicity of narrators in the novel. The voice is always the same. But it has unusual range, picking up, parodying, or ironically undercutting the tones of the novels many characters, with undertones of lyric and epic poetry and old popular tales.
Bulgakov always loved clowning and agreed with E. T. A. Hoffmann that irony and buffoonery are expressions of the deepest contemplation of life in all its conditionality. It is not by chance that his stage adapta- tions of the comic masterpieces of Gogol and Cervantes coincided with the writing of The Master and Margarita. Behind such specific influences stands the age-old tradition of folk humour with its carnivalized world- view, its reversals and dethronings, its relativizing of worldly absolutes a tradition that was the subject of a monumental study by Bulgakovs countryman and contemporary Mikhail Bakhtin. Bakhtins Rabelais and His World, which in its way was as much an explosion of Soviet reality as Bulgakovs novel, appeared in 1965, a year before The Master and Margarita. The coincidence was not lost on Russian readers. Commenting on it, Bulgakovs wife noted that, while there had never been any direct link between the two men, they were both responding to the same historical situation from the same cultural basis.
Many observations from Bakhtins study seem to be aimed directly at Bulgakovs intentions, none more so than his comment on Rabelaiss trav- esty of the hidden meaning, the secret, the terrifying mysteries of re- ligion, politics and economics: Laughter must liberate the gay truth of the world from the veils of gloomy lies spun by the seriousness of fear, suffering, and violence. The settling of scores is also part of the tradition of carnival laughter. Perhaps the most pure example is the Testament of the poet Francois Villon, who in the liveliest verse handed out appropriate legacies to all his enemies, thus entering into tradition and even earning himself a place in the fourth book of Rabelaiss Gargantua and Pantagruel. So, too, Bakhtin says of Rabelais:
In his novel ... he uses the popular-festive system of images with its charter of freedoms consecrated by many centuries; and he uses it to inflict a severe punishment upon his foe, the Gothic age ... In this setting of consecrated rights Rabelais attacks the fundamental dogmas and sacra- ments, the holy of holies of medieval ideology.
And he comments further on the broad nature of this tradition:
For thousands of years the people have used these festive comic images to express their criticism, their deep distrust of official truth, and their highest hopes and aspirations. Freedom was not so much an exterior right as it was the inner content of these images. It was the thousand-year-old language of feariessness, a language with no reservations and omissions, about the world and about power.
Bulgakov drew on this same source in settling his scores with the cus- todians of official literature and official reality.
The novels form excludes psychological analysis and historical com- mentary. Hence the quickness and pungency of Bulgakovs writing. At the same time, it allows Bulgakov to exploit all the theatricality of its great scenes storms, flight, the attack of vampires, all the antics of the demons Koroviev and Behemoth, the se´ance in the Variety theatre, the ball at Sa- tans, but also the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, the crucifixion as witnessed by Matthew Levi, the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane.
Bulgakovs treatment of Gospel figures is the most controversial aspect of The Master and Margarita and has met with the greatest incomprehen- sion. Yet his premises are made clear in the very first pages of the novel, in the dialogue between Woland and the atheist Berlioz. By the deepest irony of all, the prince of this world stands as guarantor of the other world. It exists, since he exists. But he says nothing directly about it. Apart from divine revelation, the only language able to speak of the other world is the language of parable. Of this language Kafka wrote, in his parable On Parables:

Many complain that the words of the wise are always merely parables and of no use in daily life, which is the only life we have. When the sage says: Go over, he does not mean that we should cross to some actual place, which we could do anyhow if it was worth the trouble; he means some fabulous yonder, something unknown to us, something, too, that he cannot des- ignate more precisely, and therefore cannot help us here in the least. All these parables really set out to say simply that the incomprehensible is incomprehensible, and we know that al- ready. But the cares we have to struggle with every day: that is a different matter.
Concerning this a man once said: Why such reluctance? If you only followed the parables, you yourselves would become parables and with that nd of all your daily cares.
Another said: I bet that is also a parable. The first said: You win.
The second said: But unfortunately only in parable. The first said: No, in reality. In parable you lose.
A similar dialogue lies at the heart of Bulgakovs novel. In it there are those who belong to parable and those who belong to reality. There are those who go over and those who do not. There are those who win in parable and become parables themselves, and there are those who win in reality. But this reality belongs to Woland. Its nature is made chillingly clear in the brief scene when he and Margarita contemplate his special globe. Woland says:
For instance, do you see this chunk of land, washed on one side by the ocean? Look, its filling with fire. A war has started there. If you look closer, youll see the details.
Margarita leaned towards the globe and saw the little square of land spread out, get painted in many colours, and turn as it were into a relief map. And then she saw the little ribbon of a river, and some village near it. A little house the size of a pea grew and became the size of a matchbox. Suddenly and noiselessly the roof of this house flew up along with a cloud of black smoke, and the walls collapsed, so that nothing was left of the little two-storey box except a small heap with black smoke pouring from it. Bringing her eye stffl closer, Margarita made out a small female figure lying on the ground, and next to her, in a pool of blood, a little child with outstretched arms.
Thats it, Woland said, smiling, he had no time to sin. Abad- dons work is impeccable.

When Margarita asks which side this Abaddon is on, Woland replies:

He is of a rare impartiality and sympathizes equally with both sides of the fight. Owing to that, the results are always the same for both sides.

There are others who dispute Wolands claim to the power of this world. They are absent or all but absent from The Master and Margarita. But the reality of the world seems to be at their disposal, to be shaped by them and to bear their imprint. Their names are Caesar and Stalin. Though absent in person, they are omnipresent. Their imposed will has become the measure of normality and self-evidence. In other words, the normality of this world is imposed terror. And, as the story of Pilate shows, this is by no means a twentieth-century phenomenon. Once terror is identified with the world, it becomes invisible. Bulgakovs portrayal of Moscow under Stalins terror is remarkable precisely for its weightless, circus-like theatricality and lack of pathos. It is a sub-stanceless reality, an empty suit writing at a desk. The citizens have adjusted to it and learned to play along as they always do. The mechanism of this forced adjustment is revealed in the chapter recounting Nikanor Ivanovichs Dream, in which prison, denunciation and betrayal become yet another theatre with a kindly and helpful master of ceremonies. Berlioz, the comparatist, is the spokesman for this nor- mal state of affairs, which is what makes his conversation with Woland so interesting. In it he is confronted with another reality which he cannot rec- ognize. He becomes unexpectedly mortal. In the story of Pilate, however, a moment of recognition does come. It occurs during Pilates conversation with Yeshua, when he sees the wandering philosophers head float off and in its place the toothless head of the aged Tiberius Caesar. This is the piv- otal moment of the novel. Pilate breaks off his dialogue with Yeshua, he does not go over, and afterwards must sit like a stone for two thousand years waiting to continue their conversation.
Parable cuts through the normality of this world only at moments. These moments are preceded by a sense of dread, or else by a presen-
timent of something good. The first variation is Berliozs meeting with Woland. The second is Pilates meeting with Yeshua. The third is the self- baptism of the poet Ivan Homeless before he goes in pursuit of the mys- terious stranger. The fourth is the meeting of the master and Margarita. These chance encounters have eternal consequences, depending on the response of the person, who must act without foreknowledge and then becomes the consequences of that action.
The touchstone character of the novel is Ivan Homeless, who is there at the start, is radically changed by his encounters with Woland and the master, becomes the latters disciple and continues his work, is present at almost every turn of the novels action, and appears finally in the epi- logue. He remains an uneasy inhabitant of normal reality, as a historian who knows everything, but each year, with the coming of the spring full moon, he returns to the parable which for this world looks like folly.

Richard Pevear

A Note on the Text and Acknowledgements

At his death, Bulgakov left The Master and Margarita in a slightly unfin- ished state. It contains, for instance, certain inconsistencies - two versions of the departure of the master and Margarita, two versions of Yeshuas entry into Yershalaim, two names for Yeshuas native town. His final re- visions, undertaken in October of 1939, broke off near the start of Book Two. Later he dictated some additions to his wife, Elena Sergeevna, no- tably the opening paragraph of Chapter 32 (Gods, my gods! How sad the evening earth!). Shortly after his death in 1940, Elena Sergeevna made a new typescript of the novel. In 1965, she prepared another typescript for publication, which differs slightly from her 1940 text. This 1965 text was published by Moskva in November 1966 and January 1967. However, the editors of the magazine made cuts in it amounting to some sixty typed pages. These cut portions immediately appeared in samizdat (unofficial Soviet self-publishing), were published by Scherz Verlag in Switzerland in 1967, and were then included in the Possev Verlag edition (Frankfurt- am-Main, 1969) and the YMCA-Press edition (Paris, 1969). In 1975 a new and now complete edition came out in Russia, the result of a comparison of the already published editions with materials in the Bulgakov archive. It included additions and changes taken from written corrections on other existing typescripts. The latest Russian edition (1990) has removed the most important of those additions, bringing the text close once again to Elena Sergeevnas 1965 typescript. Given the absence of a definitive autho- rial text, this process of revision is virtually endless. However, it involves changes that in most cases have little bearing for a translator.
The present translation has been made from the text of the original magazine publication, based on Elena Sergeevnas 1965 typescript, with all cuts restored as in the Possev and YMCA-Press editions. It is complete and unabridged.
The translators wish to express their gratitude to M. O. Chudakova for her advice on the text and to Irina Kronrod for her help in preparing the Further Reading.

Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky

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