Russian Published Editions

Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, like several of his other works, was never published in his lifetime. The novel was published by Bulgakov's widow, Elena Sergeevna, in Nov. 1966 and Jan. 1967 in the journal Moskva. This first published edition was substantially cut (roughly 12% of the text), in part for considerations of space, but mostly to accommodate Soviet censors. References to the actions of the secret police in Jerusalem and Moscow were the most likely targets for deletion. References to nudity and Margarita's foul language were cut.

The censored portions of the text immediately began to circulate in Samizdat typescript. The complete text was published in Paris in 1967 (YMCA Press) and in 1969 a restored complete edition was published in Germany by Possev, with the censored parts in italics.

A fifth version of the novel, this time uncensored, was published in Moscow in 1973, when the first complete edition of the novel came out in book form. This version was prepared by Anna Saakyants and published together with Bulgakov's Theatrical Novel and White Guard by the "Khudozhestvennaia literatura" press. The 1973 edition henceforth became the official standard version for scholarship.

Finally, in 1989, a new edition of the novel (the sixth!) was prepared for publication in Kiev by Lidiia Ianovskaia, who checked the text against all available materials.

English Translations