The salvation of Satan
Mar 24,2023 | lovespelltemple
I am concealed! Freedom to come and go!
Margaret was coated with the oil that Satan had given her, and she was young and glowing and light all around. Tearing off her blue shirt, she mounted a flying brush, shouted a spell, and laughed wildly as she flew to a Satanic orgy far from Moscow.
I can't believe that such psychedelic, wild and unrestrained words, full of magical realism, came from a Soviet writer in the 1930s. Unlike what I remember of Stalin's works, it is bright, unrestrained, dark and gorgeous, and full of crazy fantasy.
It is a story about the devil, cowardice and love.
Satan, disguised as a foreign professor named Voland, arrives in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union, with his entourage. The fanged but courteous Azazel, the long and lean bassoon like Karoviev, and the black cat Hippo, who behaves like a man.
The coming of the devils brought "evil" to Moscow, and the whole city was turned upside down from the time Professor Woland predicted Berlioz's death. People's masks are shattered in the midst of the devil's pranks, and the ugliness that cannot be hidden is exposed in broad daylight: the rubles that fall from the sky, which people are competing for, are turned into various paper trademarks; the money received from the devil's "intermediaries" is turned into prohibited foreign currency; the fashionable and gorgeous clothes that women get for free in the circus are all turned into foreign currency after leaving the house. All the clothes that the women had exchanged for free in the circus disappeared after they left the house, and everyone walked naked in the street like Eve in the Garden of Eden; Karlovy V. and the Black Cat, pretending to be guests of honor, ended it all with an orgy of burning fire after they had luxuriated in the Foreigner's Shop and the Griboyedov House.
At the same time, the biblical story of the execution of Jesus by Pilate, the Jewish governor, proceeds in the master's writing. Pilate sympathized with the arrested Yeshua, yet he had to defend the mission of the Roman emperor, and his cowardice prevented him from exerting himself to save Yeshua. The freed sinner Barabbas bribed the high priest and the elders; and Judas did not commit suicide because of his guilt at learning of Yeshua's death, but was stabbed to death on his way to a rendezvous with his lover after receiving the silver money.
From God's point of view, we see the different strands converging and presenting the same historical ending to Pilate: Jesus was crucified because he was hated by the Jews; Barabbas was released because he was the most sinful and his release reflected the importance the Roman emperor attached to the Passover; Judas was stabbed to death on the Mount of Olives in Pilate's conspiracy and careful planning. And it was the same Judas who committed suicide out of guilt that was shown to the crowd.
Pilate, unable to stop himself from killing Jesus, wanders in the moonlight, suffering for a thousand years. The death of Jesus is also full of symbolism, not only as a source of Pilate's own endless remorse, but also as the master's obsession that permeates his writing.
What connects the real Moscow with the Pilate of the story is the love story of the master and Marguerite. A third of the way into the book we finally get to the master, the unappreciated author who lived alone in a small building for several years and produced this great work about the execution of Jesus by the Jewish governor. However, this astounding work was only cherished by his lover, Marguerite, who called him "the master", while the others put him in a mental institution without a word. The pain of disappointment made him burn all his manuscripts, his heart was in pain and despair, and he had no one to talk to about his lover's endless longing.
In the midst of her despair, Marguerite, with the help of Satan, not only gets a new life in her body and the manuscript of the master that was burned to the ground, but also receives Satan's blessing and abandons her body together with the master, riding a black horse into the abyss of hell.
Russian fiction is most often full of the carnival aesthetic proposed by Bakhtin, but also has a tone rich in Orthodox Christianity. The "devil" group, so to speak, is the embodiment of carnival and religion. In the whole text, Satan, on the contrary, brings salvation to the master and Margaret, acting as God. In the Old Testament Book of Job, Satan was sent down as God's messenger to test Job's loyalty to God. In this book, Satan is also charged with the task of "examining the mortal world after a hundred years". And all the "evil" he did, it seems more like a warning to mortals: discipline the hypocritical and serious head of the troupe, creating a series of absurd and comical events; remove the clowning and self-righteous host George Bengalski's head; let the leaders addicted to organizing various amateur groups, endlessly The "kidnapping" of corrupt and bribe-taking people and bringing them to the circus to be tried, so that those who exonerate themselves again into their deeper scandals; catching people who are trying to get money for nothing, so that everything they get will be reduced to nothing again... ...
The performance of Satan and his emissaries in the circus, which nakedly unveiled the hypocrisy of the people of Moscow, was the climax of the story in Moscow; and Margaret was invited by Satan to play the role of the Queen, accepting the tribute and kiss of thousands of sinners in hell, was the climax of the Satanic party. The grand party was held at the home of Berlioz, the late chairman of the Moscow Literary Union, in the former residence of the widow of a jeweler, a coveted jeweler in the center of the city. The madness of the Satanic party was marked by the appearance of countless sinful and vicious people from history, who indulged in the lustful pleasures, kissed the queen's hands and feet, and then disappeared in a flash of gray mist at the sound of the dawn toast. Sinful souls continue to appear, so that Satan's dinner is crowded, even the last people think that the innocent died to promote the travel of Baron McGurl, but was secretly doing some undercover work, of course, Satan was also "invited" to the party.
There are no innocent people in hell, and the poor ones caught by the devils are not innocent and upright people. Behind every "victim" there are hidden secrets unknown to man, and only the devil knows this, teases him and punishes him. At this point, Satan takes on the color of "God" - punishing the sins of the earth and making people suffer. Just as God punishes mankind for the flood, he is cruel and merciless, but not unreasonable. This ruthlessness is a manifestation of absolute truth, and it is in this absurd farce that we can peel away the bright and shiny appearance of people and see through the ugly, selfish and hypocritical parts of them.
The devils carry out a harsh punishment like God, and the witch Margaret takes on the role of God's "salvation". Margaret plays the queen of the feast, receiving the blessing of the sinners going to hell and granting them forgiveness. Those people who were historically considered to be the worst sinners, their behavior in the mouths of the demons, but contains the light of "good". The blessing of Margaret's kiss to them at this time was as holy and gracious as the kiss of God.
Jesus appreciated the master's novel and sent the messenger Matthew to beg Satan to grant him eternal life: "According to merit he shall not receive light, but peace." Satan then took Marguerite and escaped from the asylum back to the basement, and with him he drank poisoned wine to get rid of the flesh and gain eternal life. And the moment before falling into the abyss, Marguerite wrote a happy ending for the novel that the master had not yet made the end: Pilate waited for the forgiveness of Yeshua and walked with him to the path of the shaman moonlight. "You are relieved! Deliverance! He is waiting for you!" Margaret frees the last unpardonable sinner, makes her final "redemption", and then leaps into the abyss.
"Cowardice is the worst defect of mankind." A thousand years ago Pilate, out of cowardice, succumbed to the Jewish crowd, killed Yeshua, and left his soul to languish in the torment of twelve thousand full moons. A thousand years later in Moscow, as Professor Woland said, the people have not changed much. They want to satisfy their own selfish desires, but they do not want to look at their own filth and sin, and in the name of benevolence and morality, they are posing as victims when their false face is revealed. After the demons left with the master and Margaret, the people of the city still chose to hypnotize themselves with a logical conclusion: all the absurd things happened not because their greed was ruthlessly exposed by the devil, but from the hypnosis of an unknown master hypnotist, everything was an illusion, nothing ever happened.
The coming of the devil brings unrest to the city, freedom to Margaret, peace to the master, and a love with a happy ending for the two. The ending of the story is as complete as the full moon at the end of the world. The trio of magical realism, with its colorful colors, adds a layer of mysterious psychedelic color to this absurd and bizarre story. Whether it is the life in Moscow or the master's wasted experience, it more or less alludes to the comical scandals of the Soviet society at that time, as well as the author Bulgakov's own banned works, his disappointing career, and his lack of food and clothing. This writer, who was lonely in his life, devoted his life to the work "Margarita and the Master" to show the world his difficult life journey, and to express to everyone his innermost pursuit of the ultimate moral perfection of truth, goodness and beauty.
"There was no execution at all! Isn't it? I implore you, say it, there was no execution, was there?"
"Well, of course there wasn't, it was your illusion."
"Is that so? Can you swear to that?"
"Then I ask nothing more!"