Paris: YMCA-Press, 1968. Octavo (30.2 × 22.5 cm). Original printed wrappers; 219,  pp. With the author's portrait on page 15. Very good; spine sun-tanned.
A near fine copy of the first edition in book form of Mikhail Bulgakov’s multi-layered satire of Soviet society, set in ancient Jerusalem and Moscow of the 1930s, which achieved cult status with the Soviet readership in the 1960s-70s. Bulgakov was the subject of much criticism throughout Soviet rule and many of his works were not published until Perestroika. This text suffered a particularly complicated fate. After destroying an early version in 1928, Bulgakov continued to work on the novel, but died before seeing any part of it published. In 1966-67, a heavily censored edition was published in the journal Moskva. Both the censors and the editors severely cut the text, removing twelve percent. After Bulgakov’s widow agreed to provide access to the manuscript, typewritten copies of the excised passages began to circulate in samizdat within the Soviet Union. The full, uncensored text first appeared in a 1973 Soviet edition; researchers were first given access to the manuscript in 1987, and the most authoritative version was published in the five-volume 1990 edition. The present edition retains the version published in the journal Moskva. With a preface by Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, a beloved priest of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad. An important edition of one of the most influential Russian novels of the twentieth century.
Book ID: 50600