Boris Pasternak

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Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (Russian: Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к) (10 February 1890 – 30 May 1960) was a Nobel Prize-winning Russian and Soviet poet of Jewish descent, novelist and translator of Goethe and Shakespeare. In Russia, Pasternak is most celebrated as a poet. My Sister Life, written in 1917, is one of the most influential collections of poetry published in the Russian language in the 20th century. In the West he is best known for his epic novel Doctor Zhivago, a tragedy whose events span the last period of the Russian Empire and the early days of the Soviet Union. It was first translated and published in Italy in 1957. He helped give birth to the dissident movement with the publication of Doctor Zhivago.[1]


Early life

Pasternak was born in Moscow on 10 February, (Gregorian), 1890 (Julian 29 January) into a wealthy and assimilated Russian-Jewish family.[2] His father was the famous artist, Leonid Pasternak, professor at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, and his mother was Rosa (Raitza) Kaufman, a concert pianist. Pasternak was brought up in a highly cosmopolitan and intellectual atmosphere: family friends and regular visitors to his childhood home included pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, composer and mystic Alexander Scriabin, existentialist Lev Shestov, poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and writer Leo Tolstoy. Pasternak aspired first to be a composer, turned next to philosophy and then eventually to writing as his vocation.[3]

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