Dept. of Don’t know whether to laugh or cry

master-and-margarita_cover.jpgScore one for the Chronicle’s copy editors today with their headline in the wine section, Mastering the margarita, which is supposed to ring a bell for Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece The Master and Margarita (which has nothing to do with the Mexican party beverage and not a whole lot to do with the cat on its cover, but is really a satire of 1930s Soviet repression).

This is one of those situations where, as a reader, you don’t know whether to cheer because we have (presumably) erudite headline writers, or boo for their lowering a great work of world literature for the purpose of a bad pun. But if only one reader buys the book and reads it because of this blog post, it will have put a small weight on the side of literature.

2 Comments so far

  1. whir on July 25th, 2008 @ 7:59 am

    Er, the cat on the cover is presumably Behemoth, who’s a fairly important character in the book.


  2. Mark Pritchard (markpritchard) on July 25th, 2008 @ 8:17 am

    You’re right. But I meant that from the title and the cover art, a reader unfamiliar with the book might think that it’s about a cat named Margarita and its owner.



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