The Master, Margarita, and I: Paul Goldberg on the Third Rail of the Russian Classic

Paul Goldberg at Literary Hub:

Bulgakov’s Moscow is my Moscow. Zemlyanoy Val, my street, is a few trolleybus stops away from his—Sadovaya. On evening walks of nearly six decades ago, I listened to my awe-struck parents talk about the seemingly unpublishable masterpiece of a forgotten writer improbably seeing the light of day.

The Master and Margarita quickly became one of the most-read works of Russian literature, and its popularity seems to expand even as readers acknowledge not being able to understand much if any of it. I sympathize. Though this novel drew me in at a young age, and though I re-read it often, our relationship has required much maintenance and has not been harmonious.

More here.