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Soviet Samizdat

Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita].

Soviet Union, ca. late 1960s or early 1970s. Octavo (24 × 16 cm). Original dark green buckram binding with an amateur illustration to front board and lettering to spine; 217 leaves of xeroxed text. Small trace of private owner stamp and inventory number to first leaf; traces of moistures to front board, ffep, and first leaf; still about very good.

Bound xerox reproduction, published surreptitiously, of the first Soviet publication of the novel in the journal "Moskva" (no. 11, 1966, and no. 1, 1967). Mikhail Bulgakov’s multi-layered satire of Soviet society, set in ancient Jerusalem and Moscow of the 1930s, 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.

Book ID: 50993

Price: $650.00