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B.O.S.S. B████████ B████████ Broadcast #█████10
██ expected it to have been rather different, but it was not. The heat extracted quiet drops of sweat from his brow, stinging his eyes bitterly. We need not account all of the ███████, for they have been lost. And if the ███████ are lost, new bounds have been created, no?
His back contorted under the ██████. His worn leather soles kissed the crackling pavement. ██ gnawed. In the absence ██ became:
Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. And reading it will be cool for the following reasons:
- There is a bit of a Russian literary tradition on our hands. From the sweeping character-based epics of Tolstoy and Sholokhov to the philosophical depths of Dostoevsky to 20th century political fiction of Solzhenitsyn, the works are as diverse as the country’s continuous churning social histories and vast geography. I’m sure we will all be experts on it after this round.
- Due to intense Soviet censorship, Bulgakov’s most satirical novels (1925’s Heart of a Dog and 1940’s The Master and Margarita) didn’t see the light of day through formal publishing until long after his death. They did, however, make the rounds in samizdat, the underground dissident press and circulation network in the Soviet Bloc. But surely the Soviets were clamping down, given previous examples of Russian satire becoming a forcing mechanism for political change, so can you really blame them? (Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls – a seminal 1840s century satirical work – is often cited as having brought attention to the corruption in practices associated with serfdom, which may or may not have helped bring about the practice’s demise in 1861.)
- Since its formal publishing in the late ‘60s, The Master and Margarita has been quickly elevated to “classic lit” status, thanks to its blend of biting wit with deep-seeded lore and/or religion (Faust and that dude that pretty much killed Jesus). It also helps that it contains cats (cats are big now), Satan (he’s big now, right?) and the substance for the lyrical content of The Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil. Unfortunately, fewer people have sympathy for Mick Jagger after he made that “Dancing in the Street” video with David Bowie. Mostly because it didn’t involve any cats.
The density of this one looks a little difficult to judge. For now, let’s plan on a halfway meet-up somewhere around the winter holiday (either right before or soon after the late December break) and we’ll go from there.
Coldly, yet warmly,
Assistant Lieutenant General of B.O.S.S. Samizdat and Auxiliary Dark Arts