28 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2020
    1. But what other style could fit a world where heaven was now, indeed, hell? What kind of diabolical sorcery could compare with the disappearance of millions by Stalin and his security apparatus? The novel’s galling play was to propose that, in a place like the U.S.S.R., justice was with the dark forces: the gospel according to the Devil.

      The novel's structure was conceived from the demoralizing reality of Stalinist regime. The reality of the contemporary Moscow felt nightmarish and phantasmagorical while the story of Pontuis Pilate and Jesus Christ reads like a historical account.

    2. With his plays mostly banned, Bulgakov used every freedom inside the covers of ­“Margarita,” and its pages bristle with a deeply informed indifference to every dogma, whether historical, religious, political or artistic. ­Bulgakov’s earthbound Christ ignores the mythology of the Gospels and Soviet atheism both, as does a Satan figure who is munificent and majestic rather than petty and evil. The Pilate narrative is equally dark on the rules: It migrates from one teller to another, from speech to novel inside a novel to dream. Few novels have incorporated fantastical elements into straight realism, the absurd into the sane, as hilariously and boldly as this one. (Long before there was Latin American magic realism, there was Soviet magic realism. It was a lot funnier.)

      The Master and Margarita was one of the first magic realism novel. The author challenges both dogmatism of the Gospels and Soviet atheism

    1. The loss of anonymity online has created a significant cultural shift. It now takes some degree of literacy and precision to move through the digital world without leaving any clue as to one’s identity. Commonly used services are interconnected, importing names, profile pictures, and other personal information among one another, sometimes without even asking. Anyone in an even gently public-facing role has reams of Google image search results for themselves, their faces: images independent of their control or consent.

      Again, the culture of transparency will contribute to enforcing new norms of ethics and accountability.

    1. Marla Wilson, 35, of San Francisco, said she was appalled when she saw white supremacists marching so brazenly in Charlottesville. Doxxing, she believed, was an effective way to make people think twice about being so bold with their racism.

      Another problem with doxxing worth considering is that people may have an emotional response to a picture without contextualizing it. They might respond strongly and repost the picture or video, but their indignation might be premature and unjustified.

    2. Now the online hunt to reveal extremists has raised concerns about unintended consequences, or even collateral damage. A few individuals have been misidentified in recent weeks, including a professor from Arkansas who was wrongly accused of participating in the neo-Nazi march. And some worry that the stigma of being outed as a political extremist can only reinforce that behavior in people who could still be talked out of it.

      Nellie Bowles, a journalist covering technology for the New York Times in the San Francisco Bay Area, examines how doxxing, even with the best intentions in mind, can become problematic and have unintended ethical ramifications. One of the problems arising from “doxxing” is a probability of error and misidentification. Another serious potential ethical problem is labeling people for the rest of their lives without any hope for redemption.

    1. The Master and Margarita
      • From the very first page the Soviet reader was taken aback by the discussion about Jesus Christ. One of the tenets of the Soviet society was atheism. By mere introduction of Satan as a main character of the novel, Bulgakov was making a daring political statement.
      • In contemporary Russia, the novel is still considered the most popular Russian novel because it captured the essence of the Soviet Union times. I think Russia still had the remaining bureaucracy along with the Soviet mentality that the modern readers recognize today. On the other hand, the novel raises the universal questions about the nature of good and evil and moral implications of our life choices in an original way that resonates with the modern day readers.

      • Julie Curtis: “To start within Russia, when it appeared, it was an extraordinary contrast with what had come before. The middle part of the twentieth century had seen the social realism, the official doctrine of Russian literature, the production novels “boy meets tractor,” rather dismal texts. And suddenly, this novel appeared, which had been hidden for decades. And suddenly, this novel appeared which had been hidden for decades. And it was exuberant, it was funny. It talked about the devil, it talked about literature, it talked about the theatre. It defied all the conventions of the social realism. And world-wide too, I think, the people just warm to the text that is extremely inventive and is not like any other texts in any other literature.”

  2. Jun 2020
    1. But as we surveil each other in profoundly coercive ways, we also risk — as is often the case with informal forms of power — replicating the coercive power of the state itself. Surveillance disciplines our behavior, as any minority who’s passed through a security checkpoint in America can tell you in detail. It creates certain behaviors by design, most notably compliance, the willingness to do anything to avoid being hurt.

      By exercising the informal power of sousveillance and public harassment, there is a danger of creating a disciplinary regime regulated by a mob mentality.

    2. The story’s charm disguises the invasion of privacy at its heart: the way technology is both eroding our personal boundaries and coercing us in deleterious ways.

      The author implies that Rosey Blair’s behaviour is not a single case of a misjudged behaviour but rather a symptom of the paradox of our society. On one hand, we are supposed to respect other people’s privacy. On the other hand, the very structure of existing social media platforms encourages their users to exploit any opportunity to increase the number of their followers or/and increase their visibility.

    1. The Master and Margarita is undoubtedly the most cheering.

      Book review by Viv Groskop,a journalist, author, cultural critic, and comedian, a graduate of Cambridge University and the University College London School of Slavonic and East European Studies. The author thinks that this novel transcends the time and geographic boundaries because of its lightweight humor and wit.

    2. A most wide-spread interpretation of "peace, not light."

    3. I sometimes wonder if The Master and Margarita—the novel I have heard Russians speak the most passionately about—explains many Russians’ indifference to politics and current affairs. They are deeply cynical, for reasons explored fully in this novel. Bulgakov describes a society where nothing is as it seems. People lie routinely. People who do not deserve them receive rewards. You can be declared insane simply for wanting to write fiction. The Master and Margarita is, ultimately, a huge study in cognitive dissonance. It’s about a state of mind where nothing adds up and yet you must act as if it does. Often, the only way to survive in that state is to tune out. And, ideally, make a lot of jokes about how terrible everything is.

      This idea surprised me. Who are the Russians who are indifferent to politics and current affairs? It is mostly what Russian always discuss in private: politics and current affairs. Another matter is that there are no framework to insure democracy and hence their skepticism about the possibility of equal participation in the political process.

    1. Музей М. А. Булгакова (ГБУК г. Москвы) — первый и единственный государственный мемориальный музей Булгакова в России, учрежденный в 2007 году в пространстве легендарной квартиры №50 в доме 10 по Большой Садовой. В настоящее время Музей М. А. Булгакова активно расширяет поле культурной деятельности, открывает выставки и проводит мероприятия как в самом музее, так и на внешних площадках. Цель Музея — всесторонний рассказ о булгаковском творчестве, булгаковской Москве, культуре булгаковской эпохи.

      Bulgakov's museum in Moscow. It was open in 2007 with the purpose of promoting multifaceted discussion of Bulgakov's work and historical context of his novels.

    1. I remember in the Master and Margarita, she makes him a hat that says "Master" on it. it seemed like a very strange thing to do, but maybe it was common practice to wear "master" badges and hats?

      Connection between Book's symbols and Soviet symbols of the era.

    1. It’s not enough to check the stuff that is suspicious: if you apply your investigations selectively, you’ve already lost the battle.

      This seems to be so obvious: check your sources before reading to avoid confirmation bias, yet I never do that. I usually check the source only when I don't agree with the article or the content does not seem trustworthy.

    1. But someone who sends pipe bombs to Democrats; plows through a crowd of anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, Va.; or shoots up a church in Charleston, S.C., will not face domestic terrorism charges.

      This statement did not seem probable to me so I search for "domestic terrorism in the US" on the web. I was surprised to find out that it was true, and that this topic has been debating ever since The Patriot Act was signed. Wikipedia provided a link to the NPR article about it.

    1. Доктор филологических наук, профессор Литературного института им. М. Горького, критик и писатель Мариэтта Омаровна Чудакова известна как блестящий знаток истории советской литературы и как автор первой научной биографии Михаила Булгакова. Лекция на тему "Михаил Булгаков "Мастер и Маргарита" коснется основных сфер интересов Чудаковой: русской литературы советского периода, стилевых тенденций, текстологии.

      Lecture by professor Chudakova on Master and Margarita and contemporary literary trends.

    1. This website has plenty of illustrations of The Master and Margarita, made by various artists from all over the world. The website is in Russian.

    1. The website provides information on the metadata about the novel, the author and the locations of the event taking place in the novel. It is a perfect place for the people who read the novel for the first time, and would like to decipher some of the symbols and allusions in this work. The guide through the novel included annotations per each chapter.