Diana Tevekelyan died

December 17, 2011

Yesterday, December 16, 2011, Diana Tevekelyan died. She was the editor who realised the first publication of The Master and Margarita in the literary journal Moskva in 1966. She was 79 years old.

Diana Vartkesovna Tevekelyan was born in Moscow on June 8, 1932. In 1956 she graduated at the Department of Journalism of the Moscow State University. After having been an editor for the publishing house The Soviet Writer for some years, she started to work for the literary journal Moskva in 1962. She became known for her critical articles.

Between 1946 and 1966, Mikhail Bulgakov's widow, Yelena Sergeevna, had made six attempts to get The Master and Margarita accepted by the Soviet censors, all in vain. Moskva published the first part in November 1966, thanks to the perseverance of Diana Tevekelyan. The 150,000 copies were sold out within hours. Despite the fact that this first publication was heavily censored, some phrases and quotes from the novel became immediately famous and proverbial.

The news agency Interfaks, which reported the death of Tevekeljan today, pays tribute to "the incredible courage with which she defended Bulgakov's novel against censorship". We fully agree.

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