Boris Pasternak is a Nobel Prize-winning Russian author, mainly known in his homeland as one of the finest twentieth-century Russian poets, but in the world at large almost exclusively as the author of

Doktor Zhivago


Doctor Zhivago

, first published in 1957].

Pasternak was born in Moscow, on 10 February 1890, into a stimulating (secular Jewish, turned Russian intelligentsia) artistic background. His father, Leonid Pasternak, was a leading painter (apart from anything else, he was the illustrator of Tolstoy’s novel Resurrection), while his mother, Rozaliia Kaufman, had been before her marriage a gifted concert pianist. Prominent artists, musicians and literati were regular visitors. Having been originally destined (or so it seemed) for a musical career, the young Pasternak switched

1817 words

Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "Boris Pasternak". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 May 2004 [, accessed 25 July 2024.]

3494 Boris Pasternak 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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