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From Bulgakov to Goethe and Faust

“… who are you, then? I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.” Bulgakov begins The Master and Margarita with a quote from Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Goethe was actually inspired by one Doctor Faust, a scholar in astrology and chemistry, a medical practitioner, who allegedly […]

Forty Four Things: The Most Random Attempt

I have seen this meme in several blogs that I read only to realize later that it might have originated in Facebook. This one is by far the silliest most random meme but I have decided to snag it just because of the very first question. I’m very passionate (distastefully) about blue cheese so here […]

Mandatory Reading, a Monday Musing

How did you react to assigned reading when you were in school/university/college/etc? How do you think on these books now? What book were you ‘forced’ to read when you where in school that you’ve since reread and loved? This thoughtful question is so timely because I was just pondering how my students will react to […]

The Master, Novel Within Novel

The Master and Margarita Series 2 As I have expected (because I asked the same question myself in my first couple readings of the book), a couple important questions come to my students’ mind when reading the novel. Why is the novel called The Master and Margarita when those two characters arrive very late in […]

Good and Evil: Moral and Spiritual Inquiry

Bear with me. I know this sounds like a syllabus! I have not planned nor have I anticipated that some of the recent reading, Burmese Days and The Egyptian, will once again echoes the theme of irrelevance of good and evil in The Master and Margarita. The current reading, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, also brings […]

Book Reading and Buying Behavior – A Meme

I stumbled across this interesting, bookish meme in Danielle’s blog and found it irresistible to not participate. Beware that this is going to be very lengthy and even egoistic post, swirling into some of the most over-meticulous details of my reading life! Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? I prefer trade paperback (not the […]

Reading War and Peace

My third time reading Tolstoy’s epic moves quite swiftly–the story itself may not be the most captivating, like The Master and Margarita (my all-time favorite piece of literature), but it affords a tapestry of the society and its throbbing life. By the end of Part 2 in Book 1, we see extensive scenes of domestic […]

Penguin 5-7

Penguin Books launches their Christmas Book-a-Day challenge, Season’s Readings. A prompt for everyday up to Christmas Day. Are you getting into the holidays spirit? 5. Quintessentially British The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro 6. Everyone should read The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov 7. Childhood favourite The Wind in the Willows by […]

A to Z

It’s Friday! A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From: Charles Dickens. Great Expectation, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Christmas Carol, and Oliver Twist. Next one on my list is Bleak House. B. Best Sequel Ever: I have never read many sequels until this year. My favorite at the moment […]

#10Books

The #10Books meme has made its way all over Facebook and finally I have been tagged by a friend to contribute to this rather painful and grueling task. It brings mixed emotions; and the idea of picking and choosing one over the other seems a daunting task to take on. I prepare the list of […]