Originally Posted by Ea
I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere, but the name Woland reminds me of the mythical figure of Wayland (or Wieland or Völund). I know Wolund is an old German name for the devil, and my guess is that it's just a coincidence, but I still wondered whether there should be any connection anywhere.
I remember that point being made somewhere too.
One other idea which may or may not be relevant has to do with the image of Woland in the book.. I wonder if Bulgakov was in any way influenced by Murnaus's 1926 silent film,
. The Devil there has something of the Loki-like "trickster" image and he plays with human destiny. I mention it because the Soviet Union had something of a golden age in silent cinema for a while. Of course, there may be no connection at all and possibly Bulgakov and Murnau were only drawing from the same tradition as Goethe and Gounod.