Mikhail Bulgakov - The Master and Margarita [Samizdat]

987DQ_The_Master_And_Margarita_Cover.jpg
987DQ_The_Master_And_Margarita_Cover.jpg

Mikhail Bulgakov - The Master and Margarita [Samizdat]

2,400.00

Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita],

by Mikhail Bulgakov

n.p., (ca. 1980) Contemporary maroon buckram boards with thread stitching. 229 pp. 4to. (8 x 12 in.) Very good condition. Included is manila envelope (9 x 12 in.) addressed to Johan Kugelberg and postmarked 2013, containing provenance letters from Phillip Penka of Rossica Berlin Rare Books.

The Master and Margarita is generally considered one of the most essential Soviet satires. Bulgakov wrote the novel between 1928 and 1940, restarting it many times before his death in 1940, leaving the novel mostly complete but still missing parts. A heavily censored version was first published in Moscow Magazine in 1967. The complete text was pieced together and distributed through samizdats from 1967-1989. In 1989 the first official, full and uncensored version of the text was published, a feat which would not have been possible without the many different samizdat versions published throughout the 1960s-1980s.

While Samizdat was initially produced by hand or typewriter, this copy was printed using a computer and captures the fascinating juncture of Soviet dissident practices and digital technology. Beginning in the late 1970s, during the early days of computing, employees at some institutions in the Soviet Union managed to print banned texts using line (or drum) printers, usually during night shifts (the use of duplication technology was usually tightly controlled by the state). By the 1980s, such printers produced text at a rate of several hundred lines per minute. The files containing the texts could be moved from mainframe to mainframe using magnetic tape.

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