Diabolus ex machina : Bulgakov's modernist devil

  • In 1937, when Bulgakov was working on Master i Margarita and suffering from rejection by the theatre community, an old friend appealed to him: "Вы ведь государство в государстве. Сколько это может продолжаться? Надо сдаваться, все сдались. Один вы остались. Это глупо." And indeed "государство в государстве" ("a state within a state") is an appropriate way of describing a man who was feverishly working on a modernist novel at the height of socialist realism. The very fact that Master i Margarita was written in the oppressive environment of the 1930s makes it a unique modernist work, for it emerges as a protest against socialist realism and a defense of artistic freedom. In this respect the modernist qualities of Bulgakov's novel acquire a new dimension because Master i Margarita becomes a kind of artistic devil, fulfilling the traditional diabolic role of opposing authority. This is why Woland, as a character, is the metonymic expression of the novel's revolt.

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Author:Vladimir Tumanov
Parent Title (German):Scando-Slavica
Place of publication:Copenhagen
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2014/12/30
Year of first Publication:1989
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/12/30
GND Keyword:Bulgakov, Michail / Master i Margarita; Modernismus
Page Number:17
First Page:49
Last Page:61
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 89 Andere Literaturen / 891 Ostindoeuropäische, keltische Literaturen
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
BDSL-Klassifikation:03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft / BDSL-Klassifikation: 03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.07.00 Ästhetik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht