Dogma is enemy of truth. To believe reality cannot be so, when reality is so, is delusion; to call this delusion rationalism is parodic. In The Master and Margarita, Bulgakov drops a walking refutation into Moscow, he drops the devil among atheists. Do they accept, or even consider, what their reason and senses should tell them? No, they fall back on dogmatic materialism. The literary establishment will not consider the devil, or God, or magic, or any speck of the old religion. To contrast this denial of truth, Bulgakov gives a model of artistic creation of truth, in the Master’s story.
On an ordinary evening in Soviet Russia, the devil comes to Moscow. Posing as Professor Woland, a scholar of black magic, Satan and his coterie of demons performs a farce, with Soviet literary world his stage and the Muscovite upper-crust his unwitting players. Between these satires, the audience reads the eponymous Master’s unpublished manuscript, a retelling of Christ’s final days, from Pilate’s perspective.