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Boris Pasternak: February. Without waiting, write, cry with your ink

Google celebrates with a special drawing the birth of the great poet, novelist, significant translator and writer, Nobel Prize winner for literature Boris Pasternak.

Boris Pasternak is known not only as a poet-lyricist, but also as a poet-philosopher.

From an early age Boris Leonidovich Pasternak lived in a creative and nourishing environment for literature – Isaac Levitan, Leo Tolstoy, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vasily Polenov and other famous Russian artists visited the house of his father – the artist Leonid Pasternak and his mother – the pianist Kaufman.

Boris Pasternak (1890 – 1960) (Photo: Getty Images)

The noise stopped. I’m already on stage.Tightly attached to the door,I sense in the echo distanteverything that will happen to me.(Hamlet, 1946, Poems, 2001, Zahariy Stoyanov Publishing House, translated by Kiril Kadiyski)

In his youth, Pasternak could not choose between music and philosophy.

In 1912 he spent his summer vacation in Marburg, where he took lessons from the philosopher Herman Cohen, and then in Venice.

Returning to Russia, he began to write. The months in Marburg and Venice accomplish the great poet.

Boris with his bartender Alex, drawn by their father Leonid Pasternak

But time was getting older and plushit cracked like ice with a clang.In an instant – loud – you were startled and listened,and cut off, ek bell, my dream.(The Sun, 1913, “Poems”, 2001, ed. “Zachary Stoyanov”, translation: Kiril Kadiyski)

Pasternak’s first poem was published in 1913 in the almanac Lyrics, and at the end of the same year he published his first collection of poems, Gemini in the Clouds and Above the Barriers, in 1917.

Twenty years later, the poet returned to these verses, made a selection, reworked them and, including the works published later in the periodical, published a new collection – “Over the Barriers. Poems from different years” (1929), which is a kind of balance of the past.

Ah, Marina, it’s been a long time,and it won’t be difficult at all,your dust dusted in the requiem,from Elabuga to transfer.(In Memory of Marina Tsvetaeva, Poems, 2001, Zahariy Stoyanov Publishing House, translated by Kiril Kadiyski)

Pasternak himself considers the summer of 1917 to be his poetic birth. Then the book “My Sister of Life” was written (published in 1922). Before that, in 1913 in the literary circle “Musaget”, the poet gave a report “Symbolism and immortality”, which already shows the sprouts of the new post-symbolist consciousness .

In the early 1920s, Boris Pasternak met Mayakovsky and became a member of the LEF literary association. Then he met Marina Tsvetaeva.

The Creator is – to distribute,and not for the glory of greed.It is disgraceful with market noiseto be exalted.(Being famous is not beautiful, ”,“ Poems ”, 2001, Zahariy Stoyanov Publishing House, translation: Kiril Kadiyski)

Boris Pasternak is the author of the poems “I want to see the essence of everything”, “Winter Night”, “Dream”, “Beloved – a nightmare!”, “Hamlet’s monologue”.

The poet has a distinctive ability to metaphorically describe the world around him and to look inwards into the small details. At the heart of Pasternak’s poetry is the theme of man’s place in history and relationships, creativity and the fate of the poet.

In the winter of 1945/1946, Pasternak began the realization of his most important idea in prose – the novel “Doctor Zhivago” (with a working title – “Boys and Girls”). In those years, and later, he actively translated tragedies of Shakespeare, Goethe’s Faust, P. Verlaine, Georgian lyricists. The writer treats translation as self-sufficient works of art and approaches them with particular refinement. His translations are extremely close to the original works. Boris Pasternak’s translations of Shakespeare and Goethe are classics.

For his novel Doctor Zhivago, Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1958.

But the 1950s were a time of hardship for the writer. The novel “Doctor Zhivago” proposed for publication in the magazine “New World” was rejected by the editors. After its publication abroad (1957) and after it was awarded the Nobel Prize (1959), oppression began against it by both official literary and political circles. Under threat of deportation, he was forced to give up the Nobel Prize.

The Nobel Prize

I am like a beast under siege. Somewhere – people, will, day, and after me – howl, attack, I am surrounded everywhere.

Dark forest, waves are muddy, the trunk of a fallen tree. And my path is cut off. Let – I don’t care.

And what mischief did I do? Me – a murderer, a scoundrel?

But even so, almost in front of the grave, I believe, the day is near – forehead meanness and malice will bring down the good.“Poems”, 2001, ed. “Zachary Stoyanov”, translation: Kiril Kadiyski)