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The Reception of "The Master and Margarita" by M. Bulgakov in 1960-1970s: the Roman's Entering in the Literary Canon

Student: Anastasiya Novikova

Supervisor: Pavel Uspensky

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: Philology (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 9

Year of Graduation: 2018

In this research the entering of ‘The Master and Margarita’ by M. Bulgakov in the literary canon is seen from the point of view of the sociology of literature, that has not been done in Bulgakov studies. For my case it was useful to oppose the canon (official literature) and the cult literature which appears with ‘thaw’ and help to determine the limits of the group of intelligentsia and becomes one of the representatives of the group identity. The novel ‘The Master and Margarita’ was published in ‘Moscow’ magazine in 1966 and 1967. To analyze this fact as the novel’s entering in the literary field, it is important to understand it as the result of the long (26 years) work of different literary agents interested in publishing the works by Bulgakov. The first chapter of the study is the chronicle of the main events that were influencing Bulgakov’s posthumous status. The chronicle is divided into several parts, each of which finishes with the interpretation of the phase. In the second chapter I examine the readers’ perception of ‘The Master and Margarita’. First, the reception of the novel in the critical reviews, second, personal impressions of the readers. I was using the diary corpora ‘Prozhito’ to determine the main features of the perception of the roman among intelligentsia and explain the cult function of Bulgakov’s works. Another part of materials is the answers to the survey carried out in the end of 2017. I tried to interpret the first readers’ impressions leaning on the preceding parts of the research.

Full text (added June 4, 2018)

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