~READ BOOK ♬ Доктор Живаго ☻ This Epic Tale About The Effects Of The Russian Revolution And Its Aftermath On A Bourgeois Family Was Not Published In The Soviet Union UntilOne Of The Results Of Its Publication In The West Was Pasternak S Complete Rejection By Soviet Authorities When He Was Awarded The Nobel Prize For Literature InHe Was Compelled To Decline It The Book Quickly Became An International Best SellerDr Yury Zhivago, Pasternak S Alter Ego, Is A Poet, Philosopher, And Physician Whose Life Is Disrupted By The War And By His Love For Lara, The Wife Of A Revolutionary His Artistic Nature Makes Him Vulnerable To The Brutality And Harshness Of The Bolsheviks The Poems He Writes Constitute Some Of The Most Beautiful Writing Featured In The Novel
This is a timeless masterpiece While many readers are going to love this book, I think others will find themselves bogged down by its many details Certainly those readers who enjoy primarily plot driven novels are going to be frustrated by the dreamy Doctor Zhivago. There was no way I could ever escape reading Doctor Zhivago After all, I m a proud daughter of a literature teacher this book earned the Nobel Prize for Boris Pasternak and it has been staring at me from the top of my to read pile for years with quiet accusation.And so, reader, I finally read it Doctor Zhivago is an interesting novel It is very character centered but is absolutely not character driven It is an epochal novel focused on the particularly turbulent, violent and uncertain but yet future defining era in Russian history the time frame around the Russian Revolution and the following years of brutality and confusion in the Russian Civil War The driving forces of the story are the frequently senseless and almost always cruel historical events, a greater force against which the efforts and intentions and agency itself of the characters are pathetically, frustratingly helpless and futile It is really a story of individual fates trampled under the relentlessly rolling forward bulldozer of history.What may surprise some people who via the phenomenon of cultural osmosis may know of this story as one of the greatest stories of forbidden and doomed love ever written or something of similar sort, a misunderstanding perhaps perpetuated by the 1960s screen adaptation of this book , the love story is a quite small part of the overall plot Don t read it for the pangs of unrequited love or the tension of the love triangle the disappointment is sure to come if those are your expectations.Boris Pasternak, with the bravery not encouraged in the Soviet Union, seemed to be not only acutely aware of the historical forces relentlessly driving the lives of his compatriots but also which was definitely unacceptable and a few years prior to the completion of the novel, under the ever increasing paranoia of Josef Stalin s rule, would have been in the best case scenario punished by quite a few years in GULAG concentration camps in the depths of Siberia recognized the absolute senselessness of so much if what had happened His courage in expressing such views paid off in the form Nobel Prize that he was successfully pressured to reject back in 1958 the Nobel Prize that was given as we know now not just for the merits of the novel itself but for what it represented a daring slap in the face of the Soviet system both despised and feared in the Western world.While I m at it, I d like to make sure I get across that while being quite skeptical about the October Socialist Revolution and its consequences, Pasternak was definitely not even close to being starry eyed or wearing rose tinted glasses of nostalgia when it came to the old way of living in Russia, the world shattered by the events of the revolution He never leaves a doubt that the old world order needed to be changed, that the change was both necessary and organically expected but the direction the change took was painfully brutal and, perhaps, less than ideal, and those who have suffered from such a radical change were perhaps the best people Russia had at that time but their value has not made them any less vulnerable to the unrelenting march of time and dictatorship of proletariatIt s only in bad novels that people are divided into two camps and have nothing to do with each other In real life everything gets mixed up Don t you think you d have to be a hopeless nonentity to play only one role all your life, to have only one place in society, always to stand for the same thing Yes, Pasternak clearly had strong views on what has happened and continued to happen No surprise he used his novel to express them Therefore you do get pages and pages of beautifully expressed opinions in the form of passionate speeches These pages are both wonderful since they are so insightful and interesting and full of understanding of internal and external conflicts that go into the formation of these opinions as well as actually detrimental to the novel in the way we usually think of novels, since there is little dialog as such, most of it replaced by passionate oration These speeches hinder the narrative flow and introduce early on the feeling of artificialness, never allowing you to forget that this novel is a construction that serves the author s purpose rather than being an organic storyNo single man makes history History cannot be seen, just as one cannot see grass growing Wars and revolutions, kings and Robespierres, are history s organic agents, its yeast But revolutions are made by fanatical men of action with one track mind, geniuses in their ability to confine themselves to a limited field They overturn the old order in a few hours or days, the whole upheaval takes a few weeks or at most years, but the fanatical spirit that inspired the upheavals is worshiped for decades thereafter, for centuriesThe character development also suffers from the focus on the greater external events I could never shake off the feeling that the characters were present as merely the vehicles for driving the story to where the author wanted it to go they never developed into real people for me, instead remaining the illustrations of Pasternak s points and the mouthpieces for his ideas In short, to me even 600 pages in, they remained little but obedient marionettes Besides, what I found a bit distracting and ringing of contrivance was the sheer amount of coincidences and unbelievable run ins into each other that all his characters experienced in the vast reaches of the Russian empire withfrequency that one would expect from neighbors in a tiny village The web of destiny with these improbable consequences tends to disintegrate into the strings holding up puppets, and that s unfortunate in such a monumental book.And Pasternak s prose it left me torn On one hand, his descriptions are apt and beautiful, making scenes come to life with exceptional vividness On the other hand, his descriptors and sentences frequently tend to clash, marring otherwise beautiful picture The reason these occurrences stand out so much to me is perhaps the knowledge of Pasternak s absolute brilliance as a poet, so easily seen in the collection of poems accompanying this novel It s amazing to me to see the level of mastery he shows in his verse the poem A Winter Night colloquially known as simply The Candle Burned after its famous refrain is one of the best poems I know, honestly, and Hamlet is made of pure perfection and therefore a bit disappointing to see it not always repeated in his prose.Sadly, despite my way too long obsessive internet search I could not come across a translation of these poems that came even close to doing justice to their brilliance It s very unfortunate, but I guess some things need to be experienced only in the original A good reason to learn Russian, right And yet despite the imperfections and the unevenness there is still something in this novel that reflects the genius talent that created it There is still something that did not let me put this book aside even when I realized I did not love it as much as I had hoped The greatness is still there, despite the flaws, and it remains something to be admired.3 5 stars. I sometimes stroke my copy of Doctor Zhivago gently.I doubt I will find time to reread it soon, but it is one of those books I like to think I will read again, some day, even though it is written into my heart already, and has stayed there firmly ever since it first entered it decades ago Is it better than any other of the masterpieces of world literature Probably not But it is something deeply, deeply personal Something that affects the human core of the reader beyond any compassion for lost love and broken hope in political change There is something heartwarming and wonderful about poetry written in the crystal clear cold of Russian winter There is something beyond the mere storytelling in Doctor Zhivago that makes me want to caress the words that make up the journey of a doctor whose life stayed individual in the dystopian reality of the Russian Revolution and beyond, whose heart kept making him feel alive despite the cold of the era he lived through I have the impression that if he didn t complicate his life so needlessly, he would die of boredom Complicating life is filling it with meaning Nobody can take that away from us, no matter what our circumstances are.Dare to live, dare to be a poet Dare to be you.I love this novel to bits, and I also love the old movie, which is so unusual for me that I can t think of any other book film congruency in my life But Omar Sharif has just the required life complication in his eyes. Before getting to indulge in this Russian epic, I had to decide what translation to go for For me, this was a big deal, whether to choose thereader friendly version, or, a newer translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky that sticks closer to Pasternak s original difficult text I went for the latter simply because if this is how Pasternak wrote it, then I wanted to read it in the purest form Even if it meant not sitting in the comfort zone for much of the time Both Pevear and Volokhonsky have worked on much of Dostoyevsky s work, and received translation accolades in the process I scored this top marks yes, but one thing is certain I will definitely have to read it again, for a broader and richer experience I spent half the time thinking so hard about something that went before, and lost track somewhat with the present There was just so much to take in, even though I read in huge chunks, without distractions, slowly and methodically, it still felt overwhelming All the signs are there for one heck of a remarkable novel, but I couldn t help feel my hands were only brushing gently over a layer of snow, rather than thrust deeper into all that coldness.The result though, after it s first outing, still remains a special one.Doctor Zhivago opens in the first years of the century, spans the revolution, civil war and terror of the thirties, and ends with an epilogue in the mid 1940s On a level far deeper than politics and with a strength and sterility that must remove all doubts, it persuades us that the yearning for freedom remains indestructible Quietly and resolutely Pasternak speaks for the sanctity of human life, turning to those eternal questions which made the Russian novel so magnificent, and he seems to have made a lot of other world renowned novels seem that little bittrivial.Pasternak spent ten years up to 1955 working on Doctor Zhivago, he considered it the work that justified not only his own life, but that of fellow Russians who had perished through decades of war And one thing I can t yet decide on, is whether this is a love story set against the backdrop of war, or a war story set against the backdrop of love Both play so heavily throughout, yet not one stands out beyond the other It s little surprise to me that in 1958 rumours began circulating that Pasternak was a likely candidate for the Nobel Prize, which he rightly won The Academy cited him for an important achievement, in the novel, his contemporary lyrical poetry, and the field of Russian traditions His vision here is essentially defined by real presence, by the intense physical and emotional sensations of his main characters Whilst these characters internally are some of the best I have ever come across, it s also worth noting just how important a role the landscape plays His descriptions here are nothing short of spectacular I still feel the chill, the snow, the wind, and the big thaw.Pasternak captivates in his characters fallacy, in his world the inanimate nature constantly participates in the action, but there is no historical or psychological analysis in the narrative, no running commentary on the causes of events, or the motives behind the person This was a masterstroke in creating a deep feeling of the chaos that surrounds them at every turn during the second half of the novel There is a lot of random movement for no particular reason, chance encounters, sudden out nowhere disruptions, trams and trains coming to an abrupt halt, and the breakdown of communication between all those caught up in the upheavals of war He portrays happenings as they happen, sometimes right in the middle of something else And although this may not be music to ears of all, I can fully appreciate just what he set out to achieve, in keeping things as realistic as possible When you think of civil war, revolutions, and political terror, how on earth can you expect things to run smoothly And that brings me on to the names, which took some getting use to The principle characters all go by different names at different points Sometimes their names would even change mid sentence For example, Zhivago Yuri Andreievich, Yura, or Yurochka His wife Tonya Antonia, Alexandrovna, or Tonechka and his lover Lara Larissa, Larochka, Antipova, Gromeko There is also an extraordinary play with the names of minor characters, they are plausible, but often barely so Some have oddly specific meaning Some are so long that for the Russianless reader it has the ability to cause headaches On places used, some like Moscow are obviously real, but out in the Urals fictional places exist And there is a big difference in these worlds One,historically accurate, the other, almost takes on the feel of folklore The novel moves around, one place to another and back again, creating a double sense of time, it never stands still Even when people are just sitting, or in the arms of one another Once Pasternak reaches the revolutionary period, the novel becomes a kind of spiritual biography, still rich in social references but primarily the record of a mind struggling for survival What now matters most is the personal fate of Zhivago and his relationships with two other characters, Lara, the woman who is to be the love of his life, and Strelnikov, a partisan leader who exemplifies all of the ruthless revolutionary will that Zhivago lacks Zhivago s time as a family man and doctor are long gone, and thinking back to the novel s opening sections feels like it was read in another life Even though it was only a few weeks ago The huge scale of the story is simply exceptional.There is a section of some twenty pages towards the end that seem to me one of the greatest pieces of imaginative prose written in our time It soars to a severe and tragic gravity, the likes of which haven t affected me this much before What Begins as a portrait of Russia, would end as a love story told with the force and purity that s never to be forgotten A book of truth, of courage, of wisdom, and of beauty, a stunning work of art, where one s final thought is nothing less than a feeling of deep respect for both novel and writer.This version concludes with the poems of Yuri Zhivago , which polishes off perfectly the immensely felt novel that went before. . There is one edition of Doctor Zhivago whose cover boasts that it is one of the greatest love stories ever told In fact, that one tagline is what almost put me off reading this epic novel from Russian master poet Boris Pasternak This is a hefty book I didn t want to dedicate all my time to a soppy love story Thankfully, calling Doctor Zhivago a love story is like saying Crime and Punishment is about the perils of being a pawnbroker.Doctor Zhivago is a vast novel Like most great Russian novels, there is a large cast of characters all of whom go by at least three different names and many chapters in which a whole lot of nothing happens Therefore, being a masochist at heart, I just adored it There is nothing I lovein a book than pages and pages of nothing, and Doctor Zhivago delivers nothingness in abundance For example there is a whole chapter just set in a train carriage Over fifty pages we spend in that carriage Nothing happens And it s brilliant If one insists of a plot synopsis then it is a story of Doctor Yuri Zhivago and his attempt to keep his life together as his country crumbles around him.Pasternak s politics are very much at play throughout the novel The book was famously banned from publication in the Soviet Union and it is no surprise why Overall I read this work as a searing critique of the modern Soviet state and the bloodshed from which it grew Pasternak does not side with either the Whites or the Red, both destroyed Zhivago s beloved country At times Zhivago does become somewhat of a mouthpiece for Pasternak, especially near the end of the novel where it becomes a brutal critique of everything from War Communism to the NEP to Collectivisation I would suggest a somewhat sound knowledge of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath is needed for this novel, as the entire plot is based around the formation of the Soviet state I really enjoyed my time with Doctor Zhivago It is an epic tale of an epic time in modern history It is throughly readable and wholly enjoyable something which you can t often vouch for with Russian literature I would recommend this for Russian lit beginners as it gets the balance of plot and philosophy just right something which Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy often fail to do. 486 Doctor Zhivago, Boris PasternakDoctor Zhivago Russian is a novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957 in Italy The novel is named after its protagonist, Yuri Zhivago, a physician and poet, and takes place between the Russian Revolution of 1905 and World War II The plot of Doctor Zhivago is long and intricate It can be difficult to follow for two main reasons first, Pasternak employs many characters, who interact with each other throughout the book in unpredictable ways, and second, he frequently introduces a character by one of his her three names, then subsequently refers to that character by another of the three names or a nickname, without expressly stating that he is referring to the same character 1969 1337 560 1342 1343 1337 549 1361 560 1369 560 9646495184 1380 560 9647294204 1382 1386 508 9789648940466 1390 630 9789646495180 20 1338 312 1362 756 1392 840 9789643517335 1382 161 9645607434 1384 1388 1380 1003 9786005541120 1396 1014 9786008394990 1396 800 97860020251971917 1965 200519561957 19881342 1362 1361 . 20.. This is going to be a difficult review to write as I have developed a real love hate relationship with this book It is an epic story about a man, who is supposed to be this tragic hero separated from the women he loved by the cruel times of revolution and civil war If you ask me, he was just a fill in with your favourite word for describing a man with commitment and fidelity issues I guess we can interpret the whole storyline as a metaphor of that period of Russian history, in which case it all makes sense but still doesn t make it one of the greatest love stories ever told as advertised on the cover.The first hundred pages of the book are devoted to introducing at length, dozens of characters You struggle to remember their various names, surnames, patronymics, nicknames and connection with each other only to realise later on that they are never to reappear in the novel I am not sure what the point of that was, especially when subsequently important events in main characters lives are summarized in a few sentences or omitted altogether.On top of that we have multitudes of completely improbable coincidences Let s remember that Russia is the biggest country in the world, yet people keep running into each other every other page as if they all lived in a small village Even your average romance writer wouldn t probably try to pull it off thinking it is a bit too much.We have dealt with the storyline, now let s move on to the style One thing, dialogue is definitely not Pasternak s forte His characters don t talk, they orate The author obviously had his own agenda there so the poor characters had to randomly break into two page long speeches to say what Pasternak wanted to tell us Actually, I will let one of the characters speak for me now At some point Lara saidInstead of being natural and spontaneous as we had always been, we began to be idiotically pompous with each other Something showy, artificial, forced, crept into our conversation you felt you had to be clever in a certain way about certain world important themes Touche, Lara, touche Another interesting thing she said actually this book would be so much better if it was called Larissa Fyodorovna instead of Doctor Zhivago was her outlook on philosophyI am not fond of philosophical essays I think a little philosophy should be added to life and art by way of spice, but to make it one s speciality seems to me as strange as feeding on nothing but pickles. And Pasternak definitely loves his pickles.Now that we ve dealt with the bad and the ugly, let me tell what was good about this book It has some of the most captivating descriptions I have come across in literature This is where Pasternak s true genius comes to the light I didn t know you can talk about snow in so many different beautiful ways and even though I know most of it was probably lost in translation what I ve read was enough to pull this book out of the two stardom It maybe would ve even pushed it into four stardom if I had been in a better mood.