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November 23, 1957

Discussion in '"Today in History", Literature & Media Review' started by Martin Rohmann, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Doctor Zhivago

    For ten years - from 1945 to 1955 - the Soviet writer Boris Leonidowitsch Pasternak ...


    ... had worked on his epoch-making novel "Doctor Zhivago". It is the first and at the same time also the last book that he will write.

    When Pasternak presented the manuscript to the censorship authority "Glawlit" (Glavnoe upravlenie po delam literatury i izdatel'stv = Central Administration for Literary and Publishing Affairs), it was immediately banned!

    The literature inspectors are of the opinion that the author represents “dubious views” against the “Great Socialist October revolution” and portrays post-revolutionary life in the Soviet Union too negatively.

    Friends of Pasternak smuggle the manuscript ...


    ... of Pasternak's masterpiece then abroad.

    On November 23, 1957, the first printed version was published by the Giangiacomo Veltrinelli publishing house in Italy - here the first edition ...:


    A year later - 1958 - Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his novel ...


    ... had to refuse the award due to pressure from the Soviet authorities!

    The pressure from the authorities on Pasternak was so strong and affected him so much that he never wrote a book again!

    It was not until 1989 that Pasternak's son was able to posthumously accept the Nobel Prize in a special ceremony in Stockholm.

    This leaves Iwan Bunin (1933) ....



    ... Michail Scholochow (1958)...



    ...Aleksandr Solchenizin (1970)...



    ... and Joseph Brodsky (1987)...



    ... the four "official" Nobel Prize award winners for Literature of the Soviet Union.

    Lew Tolstoj ...


    ... would have received the first ever Nobel Prize for Literature awarded in 1901 - but he vehemently rejected it because he detested any honors! The award went to the now completely unknown French Sully Prudhomme.

    In the Soviet Union the novel "Doktor Schiwago" was only allowed to appear officially in 1988 - here the first edition ...:


    However, at that time Pasternak's book was already circulating in the country in hundreds of thousands of illegally reproduced "underground" copies ("Samizdat") ...



    ... and whoever wanted, already knew it!

    In 1990, on the occasion of Pasternak's official rehabilitation, the Soviet Union issued a stamp showing the writer in front of the main characters in his novel, the doctor Yuriy Zhivago and his lover, Lara Antipowa.

    Old Pete, Airkid and sd0324 like this.
  2. sd0324 PlanetFigure Supporter

    My Dear Mother loved that book and the movie as well. Good one Martin.

    Airkid likes this.
  3. bigtodd Active Member

    Thanks! I always enjoy these postings you do.
  4. Nap A Fixture

    Something different a good book and film

  5. Airkid PlanetFigure Supporter

    I liked the book, and actually the film was pretty good too - some reasonably accurate portrayals of the main players in the Civil War. Such a pity that the Soviet attitude to Pasternak was such that he never wrote anything else.


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