These past two days have been better than last week. Last week, I was busy and worried that I was not going to finish everything; now, I feel like I am getting a handle on everything. Yesterday I had a violin lesson and read for my psychology class and one of my history classes. The psychology reading was very interesting, as it concerned a study of the traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Negative traits are just so much more interesting than positive traits.
I spent most of today reading secondary sources for my thesis. Today’s source was Stalin in Russian Satire, 1917-1991 by Karen L. Ryan. This book was fascinating and I learned a lot, especially about diverse topics such as the concept of the Antichrist in theology and literature and what Stalin was like psychologically.
In the Antichrist chapter, the author had a discussion of The Master and Margarita, which I was particularly keen to read. You see, a question has occupied me almost every day for the past two years, and that question is what does The Master and Margarita mean? I have so many unanswered questions about the book: Who does Woland represent? What is the meaning of the book’s ending? And so on.
Ryan says that Woland is, on one level, supposed to represent Stalin, and she makes a convincing argument to this effect. But she also says that Woland “saves” the Master and Margarita at the end of the novel, and that was not my interpretation.
Anyway, I feel like my thesis is slowly coming together. On Thursday my advisor suggested what I think will be a more sophisticated approach to the topic, so I will have to rewrite the first chapter a bit. But no matter, I was going to have to rewrite it anyway, as it’s currently far from perfect.