The story I am about to tell is made approximately 70% less funny by the fact that it is associated with this book, so if you've read the book, the part that I think is the punch line will probably be obvious before I tell you. Oh well, though.
When I lived in Ukraine, there was a volunteer who was a pilates instructor, so my friend, Margarita (real name), and I were talking about going to a pilates class. One of our gentleman friends overheard us, came up to us hesitantly, and asked, "Is that how you say that word? P-I-L-A-T-E-S? Pill-AH-tees?"
"Yes," said Margarita. "Wait, how do YOU say it?"
Margarita burst out laughing and laughed for a good fifteen minutes.
A few months later, when everyone was reading The Master and Margarita
, I ran into our gentleman friend again. "Have you read Master and Margarita
yet?" He asked me.
"Yes," I said, "I don't think I love it as much as a lot of other people."
"I like the parts with pon-TEE-us pill-AH-tees," he said.
"WITH WHO???" I asked.
"You mean Pontius Pilate?!" I asked, and laughed for another good fifteen minutes. Sometimes, you can't win.
I don't have much to say about this book. I thought the beginning was solid and then it wandered, but I get, in theory, how it is somehow associated with Soviet national spirit, and that seems cool.