Zest for Zen

Mikhail Bulgakov The Master and Margarita translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor provides a most marvellous set of casuistic teasers.

Despite the theater manager's promise to Azazello never to lie again, he began with a lie. Although one should not judge him too harshly for that. After all, Azazello had forbidden him to tell lies and be rude over the telephone, but in the given instance the manager was speaking without the aid of such an instrument.

Ah the kind narrator ever attentive to details! Ever ready to set the readers in disarray...

It is, of course, doubtful that that was what happened, but we can't tell what we don't know.

Such is the power of telling to send us on a trip. In all the succession of states that a reader may traverse in a sustained encounter with this novel and tall tale, there is one that is inscribed within the narration almost as in invitation to mimesis. This last description of the Master is worthy of emulation.

He began to listen carefully and pay close attention to everything that was happening in his soul. His excitement, it seemed to him, had turned into a feeling of deep and deadly resentment. But it was short-lived, it passed, and gave way for some reason to a felling of proud indifference, which, in turn, became a presentiment of permanent peace.

The Epilogue presenting the fate of another character who is calm and well until the next full moon. Pick your ending and pay attention to the details.

And so for day 198