Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

by Mikhail Bulgakov

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Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:16 pm

Now, there's two questions here.

The first demands precision. Now that you've read the book, and spent about a month talking about it, give me THREE (3) adjectives that describe the book.

Asking you to do this, and not just describe the book in one or more sentences, it's at least part game. But beyond that, doing this forces each of us to encapsulate what we found in the course of reading The Master and Margarita. A very small package of words. The more specific the adjective or verb, or even noun, the better for us -- because then we get what you mean even better. So, avoid the general, but go with you gut reaction. Don't have to be complicated words! Just very precise ones that tell us your experience.

Question two. The best books leave a mark. Even if you never open the pages and read the words again, you return to it in one way or another. Something you see, or a stray thought that is simply there.

So, do you think The Master and Margarita will be one of those books you'll never forget, or not? And why?
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby Buster » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:05 pm

Just off the top of my head:
provocative, labyrinthine, incandescent

It will definitely stay with me - due in part to Woland, but more importantly to our great discussions. Thank you all!

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:44 am

I came up with these words in the shower this morning:
joyful, testament, luminous

More on the second question later.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:25 am

complicated, meaningful, thought-provoking

I'm sure it will stay with me. It has caused to me to take another look at the absolutes of my childhood. At the same time I feel like a heretic in the most distasteful sense of the word, I feel like I have stumbled into a new realm of truth and understanding.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:04 pm

nebraska wrote:complicated, meaningful, thought-provoking

I'm sure it will stay with me. It has caused to me to take another look at the absolutes of my childhood. At the same time I feel like a heretic in the most distasteful sense of the word, I feel like I have stumbled into a new realm of truth and understanding.


What an extremely powerful statement, Nebraska. Very humbling to read. I like your honesty.

It's one I won't forget either. Every time I think about the book, it's Bulgakov's joy that comes through. It is such a hopeful story, so kind. The complexity feels the way Christmas feels, the inundation of sensory experience, chaotic and intense to the point where you don't quite know where to look next, but you are delirious to be in the center of it all. I hope there will always be books written like this. I worry that there won't. Bulgakov had long thoughts, and today, we seem to be developing a culture of hyper-short thoughts, a second of attention here, a second there.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:26 am

These are not just 3 LITTLE words. These are 3 BIG words - from all of us. And I agree with everyone's words. :cool: Here's mine:

iconoclastic

convoluted

quirky

I love this question. Thanks, Firefly, for coming up with it.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:40 am

nebraska wrote:complicated, meaningful, thought-provoking

I'm sure it will stay with me. It has caused to me to take another look at the absolutes of my childhood. At the same time I feel like a heretic in the most distasteful sense of the word, I feel like I have stumbled into a new realm of truth and understanding.

In the words of Johnny, "WOW!" And as Firefly said, "powerful." And thanks for sharing that, nebraska.

I don't think that you have to look upon it as heretical, but as an opening of the mind to different possibilities.....historical, social, political, and religious. And I think that one can still maintain her basic beliefs and enjoy this book.

The other thing to consider is that it is fiction and could be considered as a fable of sorts or an allegory. I still don't feel like we know all there is to know about this book and it's meanings. I keep waiting for Angelina to weigh in and enlighten us, as it were.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:08 pm

Wow, really great words everyone! I especially love “luminous” and “labyrinthine”. :cool:
Here’s mine:

Dizzying, consuming, illuminating, playful

I know. That’s four. I’m sorry. I tried and tried but I just couldn't choose one to eliminate. :blush:

This book is definitely going to stay with me, probably until the end of my days. It’s one that I will probably reread every few years just for enjoyment, and in all likelihood I’ll discover something new each time. It’s made me think more than any other book I can remember. In fact, I think I might even have more questions now than when we started the discussion. If you asked us what our questions are now, I would have a whole new list! :lol: I can understand why some phrases from the book have made it into everyday sayings in Russia. Certainly “never talk to strangers” takes on a whole new meaning for me. “Cowardice is the worst vice” is definitely going to stick we me as well.

nebraska wrote:I'm sure it will stay with me. It has caused to me to take another look at the absolutes of my childhood. At the same time I feel like a heretic in the most distasteful sense of the word, I feel like I have stumbled into a new realm of truth and understanding.

Nebraska, I think questioning ourselves once in a while is one of the healthiest things we can do as human beings. Absolutely nothing to feel bad about there, mate. :hug: When we question, sometimes our beliefs are reaffirmed, and sometimes they change a little bit. But as Liz pointed out, remember, this is just a fable. Bulgakov didn’t have all the answers. We don’t have all the answers. We are all just mere mortals, with all our imperfections, asking the questions, trying to make some sense of it all, and trying our best to do what’s right. :aster:

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby Buster » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:06 pm

I would like to add, nebraska, that your insights and openness have added a great deal to our discussion -if we all were coming from the same backgrounds and belief systems, we would learn far less. If cowardice is indeed the worst sin, then having the courage to question your own beliefs and investigate other possibilities has to rank right up there with the greatest of virtues.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:27 pm

Buster wrote:I would like to add, nebraska, that your insights and openness have added a great deal to our discussion -if we all were coming from the same backgrounds and belief systems, we would learn far less.

Yes, indeedy. Nebraska, your input to this discussion has been invaluable. :ok:

If we all agreed on everything we wouldn't learn, and there wouldn't be much to talk about. Plus it would be pretty boring. :zzz:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:32 pm

Well, you are all very generous in your comments because I have felt so far in over my head! :hypnotic: Without the rest of you to guide me along, I would have perished along the roadside a long time ago.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #28: Three Little Words

Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:01 pm

nebraska wrote:Well, you are all very generous in your comments because I have felt so far in over my head! :hypnotic: Without the rest of you to guide me along, I would have perished along the roadside a long time ago.

And you think I didn't feel that way? :lol: Geez. This has been the most challenging book (to understand) that I've ever read in my entire life. And although I enjoyed reading it, I felt I was just reading it on a surface level......just a fun, quirky book with lots of surprises. This discussion and everyone's input into it is the only way I would have understood it. And I still feel that there is plenty more to learn here (from the Russian standpoint).
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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