Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (Russian: Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к; ; 10 February 1890 – 30 May 1960) 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 translations of stage plays by Goethe, Schiller, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and William Shakespeare remain deeply popular with Russian audiences.

Outside Russia, Pasternak is best known as the author of Doctor Zhivago, a novel which takes place between the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the Second World War. Due to its independent minded stance on the socialist state, Doctor Zhivago was refused publication in the USSR. At the instigation of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Doctor Zhivago was smuggled to Milan and published in 1957. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature the following year, an event which both humiliated and enraged the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In the midst of a massive campaign against him by the CPSU and the Union of Soviet Writers, Pasternak reluctantly agreed to decline the Prize. In his resignation letter to the Nobel Committee, Pasternak stated the reaction of the Soviet State was the only reason for his decision.

By the time of his death from lung cancer in 1960, the campaign against Pasternak had severely damaged the international credibility of the U.S.S.R. He remains a major figure in Russian literature to this day. Furthermore, tactics pioneered by Pasternak were later continued, expanded, and refined by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and other Soviet dissidents.

Read more about Boris Pasternak:  Early Life, Death, Legacy

Famous quotes by boris pasternak:

    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)

    What you don’t understand is that it is possible to be an atheist, it is possible not to know if God exists or why He should, and yet to believe that man does not live in a state of nature but in history, and that history as we know it now began with Christ, it was founded by Him on the Gospels.
    Boris Pasternak (1890–1960)

    I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.
    Boris Pasternak (1890–1960)

    What is history? Its beginning is that of the centuries of systematic work devoted to the solution of the enigma of death, so that death itself may eventually be overcome. That is why people write symphonies, and why they discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves.
    Boris Pasternak (1890–1960)