Skip to main content

Master and Margarita: "Who would let Styopa on a fighter plane without shoes?"

What happened in Master and Margarita this week? A bunch of people got disappeared by the devil (Secret Police), Apollonian and Dionysian values got compared (apparently), and there was more Jesus stuff.

AND THE MASTER SHOWED UP. Finally. Did anyone else almost immediately google to see if you could buy his hat? Because I did and I cannot find it, which seems RIDICULOUS. Anyway, I assume the woman he was obsessed with and whose flowers he hated is Margarita, and also that the Master is essentially Bulgakov (further research has supported this), which means our two main players have finally shown up. Does it feel a bit like a chess game where all the pieces are being strategically placed around? Yes? No? Maybe?

Anyway, I found this (again, from Middlebury's fine site), which I liked very much. It's addressing the chaos at the theatre in chapter 12 (bolding my own):

Apollonian vs. Dionysian: The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche is very difficult to understand, but it appears to be quite appropriated in discussing this novel. In his work The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche exalts the culture of ancient Greece. He revered Greek tragedy and the way that it combines myth and music. Nietzsche saw tragedy as a synthesis of what he terms the Apollonian and the Dionysian. These names are derived from the names of the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus.

Apollo is associated with light and art in mythology. Dionysus is linked to music, drinking and revelry. By definition, the Apollonian serves to distinguish, separate and define individuals. The Dionysian breaks up all of these boundaries and creates chaos. Nietzsche writes that the Greek philosophers applied a veil of Apollonian order to civilization. According to Nietzsche this veil of reason and rationality, ascribed to the world by the great thinkers Plato and Socrates, is an illusion. The downfall of civilization is believing in this illusion of order and not realizing that it is the modern world that is a shallow illusion. It is a precarious balance between applying the veil of order and remaining aware that the veil exists. In each of these instances, Woland has removed the veil of order surrounding these Soviet citizens and allowed them to act naturally. He removes reason and rationality from the equation and gets outrageous results. It shows the wild and chaotic nature that lurks beneath the surface of a calm exterior.
MAKES YOU THINK.

Speaking of which, what do you all think? Are you liking it more? I think I am. Yes. Yes, I am. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

#24in48: What Was Good, What Was Bad, What You Should Read

24in48, where we try to read for 24 hours out of 48, has come and gone once more. I managed 13 hours, which considering my usual average is 2, is excellent and I will take it. I attribute this to genuine planning this time and a remarkable lack of things to do that weekend.




What did I finish!

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
Captain Phasma by Kelly Thompson (comic)
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
DC Bombshells Volume 1 (comic)
The Punisher: The Complete Collection, Volume 1 (comic)
Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall

The Good.

It was actually all pretty good, so I'm gonna give a quick recap so you can decide if it strikes your fancy or not.

The Summaries

The Witches: Salem, 1692. This is a breakdown of everything that happened before, during, and after the Salem witch trials of 1692. I loved the beginning because Stacy Schiff gives you a good idea of the awfulness of life in New England in the 17th century, and it also helps you understand how the trials happened, because everyth…