For obvious reasons, Russia doesn't tend to turn out vast amounts of great literature. For the past...ever,
they have really been too busy trying to eat and survive to really take time aside for culture and the arts. However,
when they do foray into the realm of literature, they tend to turn out pure gold (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and
Solzenitzen are great examples of what Russia can do when given the chance).
Possibly the most popular cult author in Russia is a man named Mikhail Bulgakov, who died some sixty five years ago. His work The Master and Margarita went unpublished for more than two decades after his death, and only after the Khrushchev era thaw did it find its way into the hands of the Russian people. The fantastically supernatural book tells the intricately interlaced tale of the Devil, an evangelist named Matthew attempting to uncover the truth of Christ's crucifixtion, and a desperate woman named Magarita who desired to be reunited with her insane asylum confined lover "the Master." His work strongly satarizes Soviet life, much in the style of a Russian Twain or Swift.
The much beloved novel is now in the hands of director and screenwriter Vladimir Bortko, who has adapted it
into a nearly 9 hour movie which will air (mini-series style) on the State television channel. You may insert your
"In Soviet Russia" jokes here, if you like. I, for one, am extremely excited about this project, and can only
wait and hope that it meets with strong success and somehow finds its subtitled way to the states.