Seminar on The Master and Margarita
November 16, 2007
On Friday, November 16, 2007, the department of Slavonic Languages and East European Studies of the Catholic University of Leuven, and the Department of Russian of the Lessius Hogeschool in Antwerp, organised the 5th Day of the Flemish Slavonics, which was devoted entirely to The Master and Margarita this year.
A variety of Flemish Slavonics presented an overview of 40 years of Big Love in the Congress Hall which was almost completely filled up.
What did we learn?
After Emmanuel Waegemans' introduction, Vladimir Ronin (Lessius) described how he observed, as a child in Russia, the first publication of The Master and Margarita, and how the book was seen at that time and later on.
Pieter Boulogne (KUL) discussed the rehabilitation of Bulgakov, which started apparently at an unexpected moment, since the thaw in the Soviet regime, which had started after Stalin's death, was already over again when the first part of the book was published in 1966.
Martine Van Goubergen (Vlekho) presented a dissertation on the diabolic dimension of the novel, and Lidia Rura (Hogeschool Gent) elucidated the biblical theme in The Master and Margarita. An interesting part of it are the differences she observed in the way catholic and orthodox christians see the bible and the Jesus character.
Manu Waegemans (KUL) wondered whether The Master and Margarita is an autobiographical work, and Tatjana Soldatjenkova (KUL) showed how rich the Russian language can be and how Bulgakov used it to express himself fully.
Heili Verstraete (Hogeschool Gent) demonstrated how difficult it was to translate The Master and Margarita, due to the many different editorial texts which existed at the beginning.
And Eric Metz (UGent) surfed in cyberspace in search of The Webmaster & Margarita. He made a selection of some of the thousands of poems he found on the internet, all inspired by the novel.
The presentations were animated with music and film fragments about The Master and Margarita which were provided by your webmaster, and which you can see using the menu at the right of this page.