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Sympathy for the Devil

Michael Wood, 16 October 1997

The Master and Margarita 
by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine TiernanO’Connor.
Picador, 367 pp., £20, August 1997, 0 330 35133 8
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The Master and Margarita 
by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Penguin, 412 pp., £7.99, May 1997, 0 14 118014 5
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... also first published in 1967, by Harvill, and reappeared in 1992 as an Everyman book. Burgin and O’Connor’s version was first published in the US in 1995, and in the UK this year; and Pevear’s and Volokhonsky’s appears this year for the first time. The start of an answer to the riddle must lie in the history of the book’s Russian ...

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