Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Master and Spam

Recently, I received an email which carries a paragraph of prose in order to evade spam filters.
I took a moment to read the text and it rang a bell. "This is familiar," I thought.
I copy-pasted a phrase, Googled it, and the result was one of my favorite novels:
"The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov.
It's a fantasy set in Moscow just after the Bolshevic Revolution. The Devil wants to throw a party in Moscow - Pontius Pilate makes a cameo, a woman turns into a witch and flies over the city nude on a broom stick, a bullying talking cat - all kinds of mischievous magic befall the Russians while the new state leaders refuse to notice what is happening.
Very funny stuff.
The book was banned in Russia for decades. It finally was published in a censored for in 1966.
I've received a couple more spans with additional excerpts from the book.
It reminds me of a scene in the book. Perhaps a theater full of patrons may withness thousands of unsoliticied emails raining down from the ceiling - spams which could be edited together into a Russian novel.
-- McLir

Here is the latest excerpt:
'Don't you understand Russian?' said the cat severely. ' What do you want to know? ' Poplavsky was speechless. 'Passport! ' barked the cat and stretched out a fat paw. Completely dumbfounded and blind to everything except the twin sparks in the cat's eyes, Poplavsky pulled his passport out of his pocket like a dagger. The cat picked up a pair of spectacles in thick black rims from the table under the mirror, put them on its snout, which made it look even more imposing, and took the passport from Poplavsky's shaking hand. 'I wonder--have I fainted or what? ' thought Poplavsky. From the distance came the sound of Koroviev's blubbering, the hall was filled with the smell of ether, valerian and some other nauseating abomination. 'Which department issued this passport?' asked the cat. There was no answer. 'Department four hundred and twenty,' said the cat to itself, drawing its paw across the passport which it was holding upside-down.

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