Book BeginningsThe Master and Margarita -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

The Master and Margarita — BOOK BEGINNINGS



Do you read books in translation?

Every time I read a book in translation I vow to read more. I’m a lunkish monoglot, so do not read in foreign languages. But I appreciate literature from other countries so make an effort to read translated books. I end up reading several for the European Reading Challenge each year.

In honor of Bastille Day, I have my French teapot out, as you can see in the picture above. But I will not try any well-wishes in French, which you can understand from this anecdote. My sister has an ear for languages ​​and I’d love to say I shared it, but no. I try to speak the local language when I travel, often with great enthusiasm. You would think I’d give up this habit after a holiday trip to Mexico when I wished many people a Happy Asshole instead of a Happy New Year!

So Happy Bastille Day, however you say it in French!

And now let’s share the opening sentences (or so) of the books we are reading this week here on Book Beginnings on Fridays!


At the hour of sunset, on a hot spring day, two citizens appeared in the Patriarchs’ Ponds Park.

The Master and Margarita by Mikail Bulgakov. That is an underwhelming opening sentence for what is a rollicking satire of Soviet life, featuring Satan and his sidekicks, with lengthy digressions about Pontius Pilot.
I’m racing through this Russian classic. Mirra Ginsburg translated my edition and several others Grove Press editions of Mikhail Bulgakov’s books. It’s way funnier than I anticipated, in a crazy slapstick way.

Have you read it? It’s one of the 50 books on my list for The Classics Club.


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Freda at Freda’s Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading – or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda’s Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From The Master and Margarita:

“I would not like to meet you when you’ve got a revolver,” Margarita said with a coquettish look at Azazello. She had a passion for people who did things well.



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