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Pickle Me This

July 3, 2006

I think I cheated

I finished reading The Master and Margarita on Saturday. I read it last for my Soviet Cultural History class in 2001 and liked it then, but couldn’t much remember it after all this time. I loved it. The rich intertextuality and multitudinous levels of meaning were fascinating and the story was great. But it’s a very heavy book, in every sense. So upon finishing it, I decided to read Don’t You Want Me? by India Knight, which I’d received as a birthday gift. Now I had read My Life On a Plate by India Knight when I lived in England, and thought I’d read this second book too. Upon completion, I realized that I really hadn’t read it. Which I sort of knew all along I think, but after Bulgakov’s epic tale, I wanted a pink novel which a cartoon on the front. I hope that’s ok. Oh my, I read it in a day. A day in which I rolled around laughing hysterically at that little pink book. India Knight is one of my favourite newspaper columnists- deeply provocative, hilarious and well-argued, no matter how outlandish her claim. And she writes funny books. They’re not perfect novels, because as in her columns, Knight fills her books with asides and incidentallys, that don’t exactly carry a plot along. But because one likes India Knight, one is carried along. One is I. This book was absolutely brilliant for a summer’s day involving scrabble and wine on the porch. And I’m now reading The Radiant Way by Margaret Drabble, which is very exciting because this is the book that made me love her (only?) two years ago.

3 thoughts on “I think I cheated”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I read The M&M for the first time only this spring, missed most of the intertextuality, truly enjoyed only the second half and probably loved it more than almost anything I read this year. You know what I liked best about it? The moral imperative that runs throughout! And the women flying naked on brooms. Weird, eh?

  2. Kerry says:

    It’s a really great book and I was quite impressed by my translation (by Ginsberg). I only noted the intertextuality because we must have read it pretty closely in class, and I took good notes, not because I’m clever. Don’t worry. A movie was made of it in Russia quite recently. Details:,6109,1670535,00.html
    I’m excited you liked it too!

  3. Kerry says:

    Link correction:

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