An attempt to interpret and appraise the work of Boris Pasternak as lyrical and narrative poet, writer of prose fiction, and verse translator (notably from Shakespeare). Pasternak belonged to an unusually gifted generation of Russian poets who began writing in the years that preceded the First World War and the Russian revolution of 1917. Henry Gifford discusses Pasternak's choice of vocation, and then examines the poetry and stories of the 1920s and 1930s, his work as translator, his two autobiographies, the novel that brought him world fame and much personal anguish, Doctor Zhivago, his late poems and his unfinished play, The Blind Beauty. Pasternak is seen in relation to his most eminent contemporaries among the Russian poets, and to the common crisis they had to face. All the poetry quoted in Russian has a plain prose translation. This critical study is not intended only for the specialist student of Russian literature: it should have an appeal for all readers who are concerned about the survival of poetry in the present age.
General preface to the series; Foreword; Abbreviations; Transcription; 1. A portrait of the artist; 2. Music and Marburg; 3. A commitment to Futurism; 4. My Sister Life: the summer of 1917; 5. Poetry under the Soviets: Themes and Variations; 6. Pasternak and the new Russian prose; 7. 'From lyrical thinking to the epic'; 8. Safe Conduct, Rilke and Mayakovsky; 9. Second Birth and Georgia; 11. A fresh start in poetry: On Early Trains; 12. Doctor Zhivago; 13. The poems of Yury Zhivago; 14. The final stage: An Essay in Autobiography: When the Weather Clears: The Blind Beauty; 15. The place of Pasternak; Notes; Chronological table; Select bibliography; Index.
Henry Gifford discusses Pasternak's choice of vocation, and then examines the poetry and stories of the 1920s and 1930s, his work as translator, his two autobiographies, the novel that brought him world fame and much personal anguish, Doctor Zhivago, his late poems and his unfinished play, The Blind Beauty.
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