glyph 105: Boris Pasternak, Zhivago ... book, russia ... strategies and craft of tyranny ... heroes of freedom


 

Boris Pasternak Sends Doctor Zhivago to Italy

an act of heroism and committment, 1956-57

From The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive, by Christopher Andrew and Valili Mitrokhin, 1999, Basic Books:

'Pasternak became the first Soviet author since the 1920s to circumvent the banning of his work in Russia by publishing it abroad. As he handed the typescript of Doctor Zhivago to a representative of his Italian publisher, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, he told him with a melancholy laugh: "You are hereby invited to watch me face the firing squad!" Soon afterwards, acting on official instructions, Pasternak sent a telegram to Feltrinelli insisting that his novel be withdrawn from publication; privately, however, he wrote a letter telling him to go ahead.' -pg. 3

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