pop~agenda~culture

“His response was to fight it with the only weapons at hand—passive resistance and open displays of contempt.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

“Рукописи не горят” – “Manuscripts don’t burn.” Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita , and the Imminent Burning of the Internet in America| One Malaysian blog, now offline, and Guernica, A Magazine of Art & Politics in 2012

So-called “progressives” in America are calling for the burning of books, via books, and pamphlets, and furtive Facebook postings and so on- progressives and war lobbyists are calling for internet censorship. 

Led by CIA domestic operatives ( the same clever writers who invented the phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘word salad’), and seconded by all of our dozens of alphabet agencies, the internet is in trouble. 

Apparently, the ‘people’ have caught on: the internet is a military operation, and the people should just shut up about it-let the #goodguys do the heavy lifting.

The inependent blog freethebooks.blogspot.com went offline in 2010, just after the arrest of journalsts, and finally a cartoonist, author of Malaysiakini. Here is the final post of ‘freethebooks

And here is one of hat authors favorite books, reviewed:

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Story Behind The Name [of a blog, one of hundreds of thousands now silent, for ‘wutever’ reason.]


“Perhaps some of you have already Googled the title of this blog. But I’m going to tell you the story behind it anyway.

“Manuscripts don’t burn” is a quote from Mikhail Bulgakov’s book Master and Margarita. Bulgakov’s book was only published after his death for a good reason: it could have landed him in prison. During Bulgakov’s time, the U.S.S.R government was pretty much like how China is today, practising severe censorship and not allowing criticism of the government in any form, even satire. Most kids nowadays wouldn’t understand jokes or allusions to “being shipped off to Siberia” but before the Iron Curtain gave way, it was a very real threat.

Here’s an excerpt from the forward to the 1997 translation of the book by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky:
Mikhail Bulgakov worked on this luminous book throughout one of the darkest decades of the century. His last revisions were dictated to his wife a few weeks before his death in 1940 at the age of forty-nine. For him,there was never any question of publishing the novel. The mere existence of the manuscript, had it come to the knowledge of Stalin’s police, would almost certainly have led to the permanent disappearance of its author.
When the book was finally published nearly three decades after his death, it caused a sensation. Of course, it got banned. But that added more to its appeal and soon “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” became a rallying cry for oppressed writers, playwrights and poets. Supposedly writers even memorised their work so as never to fear the authorities seizing their work. Bulgakov himself had to rewrite the novel from memory after he had burnt his draft in a picque of despair.

All that significance went over my head when I was seven, unfortunately. My father passed it to me, knowing that I consumed books like candy and he liked boasting that his little girl was already reading Kipling and Tolstoy. Looking back, I can say that reading the book influenced me more than I realised.
On the surface, it’s a fun farce – there’s a talking cat, a smarmy Faust-reminiscent Satan, a very down-to-earth Jesus Christ and Pontius Pilate with a migraine. But the heart of it is Bulgakov’s very real pain of living in fear, of living where people tried not just to put your body in chains but your mind too.”

“Рукописи не горят” – “Manuscripts don’t burn” – says Woland, when he uses his magic to present the Master with the manuscript of his novel about Pontius Pilate that the writer had burned in his stove, in Soviet times as Stalin and his Homeland Security ChiefnYagoda combed the Russian land in search of dissident souls to kill or incarcerate. 

Nathaniel Rich of Guernica:

By : Nathaniel Rich

“…. A candelabra flickers; the fireplace roars. The succubus slinks. The devil sits on the edge of his bed in a nightshirt. Behemoth spreads mustard on an oyster.

To repay Margarita for serving as his hostess at the ball, Satan promises to grant her a wish. She begs to be reunited with her lover, the Master, a writer who is imprisoned in a mental hospital. Soviet critics have pounded the writer into penury and mental anguish. As soon as Margarita makes her request, a wind bursts into the room and a square of greenish light falls onto the floor. The Master materializes.
The devil asks to see the author’s manuscript, a novel about Pontius Pilate and the trial of Jesus the Nazarene. The Master declines. “I burned it in the stove,” he says.
The devil doesn’t believe the writer. “This cannot be. Manuscripts don’t burn,” he says. He turns to his cat. “Come on, Behemoth, let us have the novel.”
The cat jumps off his chair, and everyone sees that he had been sitting on a thick stack of the Master’s manuscripts.
It is a magic trick—the devil, elsewhere in the novel appears as a magician—but, like so much in The Master and Margarita, it reflects a bright shard of truth. Manuscripts don’t burn. Great literature, Bulgakov is saying, is fireproof. It survives its critics, its censors, and even the passage of time.
Events in Bulgakov’s own life bore this truth out. During a search of Bulgakov’s apartment in 1929, Stalin’s secret police confiscated the author’s personal diary. When the NKVD (the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) returned the diary to him, Bulgakov promptly burned it. But 45 years later, long after Bulgakov’s death in 1940, the diary was discovered in the NKVD’s archives. An anonymous security agent had taken the time to copy it, in its entirety….”

Follow the link above….connect the dots!

———

Further Reading:

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This entry was posted on September 20, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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