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Boris Pasternak

(10 February 1890 - 30 May 1960 / Moscow)

Boris Pasternak
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Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was a Russian language poet, novelist, and literary translator. In his native Russia, Pasternak's anthology My Sister Life, is one of the most influential collections ever published in the Russian language. Furthermore, Pasternak's theatrical translations of Goethe, Schiller, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and William Shakespeare remain deeply popular with Russian audiences.

Outside Russia, Pasternak is best known for authoring Doctor Zhivago, a novel which spans the last years of Czarist Russia and the earliest days of the Soviet Union. Banned in the USSR, Doctor Zhivago was smuggled to Milan and published in 1957. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''No deep and strong feeling, such as we may come across here and there in the world, is unmixed with compassion. The more we love, the more the object of our love seems to us to be a victim.''
    Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Russian poet, novelist, translator. Doctor Zhivago, ch. 12, sct. 7 (1957).
  • ''As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy.... Translation is very much like copying paintings.''
    Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Russian poet, novelist, translator. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963). "The onl...
  • ''It is no longer possible for lyric poetry to express the immensity of our experience. Life has grown too cumbersome, too complicated. We have acquired values which are best expressed in prose.''
    Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Russian poet, novelist, translator. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
  • ''That's metaphysics, my dear fellow. It's forbidden me by my doctor, my stomach won't take it.''
    Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Russian poet, novelist, translator. Ivan Ivanovich, in Doctor Zhivago, ch. 1, sct. 5 (1957).
  • Everything established, settled, everything to do with home and order and the common round, has crumbled into dust and been swept away in the general upheaval and reorganization of the whole of societ...
    Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Russian poet, novelist, translator. Lara, in Doctor Zhivago, ch. 13, sct. 13 (1957).
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  • Jay Warier (7/19/2009 11:14:00 AM)

    Could you please include Themes and Variations to enrich the sparse collection? There are some very good poems in there.

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