Boris Pasternak

From Academic Kids

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (Борис Леонидович Пастернак) was a major Russian poet and writer. He was born in Moscow on February 10 (Gregorian), 1890 (Julian January 29), and died on May 30,1960.

Life and work

In the West, Pasternak is best known for his monumental tragic novel on Soviet Russia, Doctor Zhivago, first published in Italy in 1957. It is as a poet, however, that he is most celebrated in Russia. He is one of a quartet of leading poets who emerged in the years of Stalin's reign, the others being Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva and Osip Mandelstam.

The son of a Jewish professor at the Moscow School of Painting, who converted to Orthodox Christianity, and a mother who was a famous concert pianist, Pasternak was brought up in a cosmopolitan atmosphere. His father's conversion would greatly impact his future, and many of his poems have overtly Christian themes. He studied philosophy at the University of Marburg in Germany, with Hermann Cohen and Nicolai Hartmann, but although invited to become a scholar, decided against philosophy as a profession. He returned to Moscow in 1914 and published his first collection of poetry in that year.

During World War I he taught and worked at a chemical factory in the Urals; this undoubtedly provided him with material for Dr. Zhivago many years later.

The revolution of 1917 led to Pasternak quickly garnering fame as a poet.

He fell out of favour with the Soviet authorities in the 1930s; accused of subjectivism, he somehow managed to escape the gulags. He made a living as a translator of classics, which included Georgian works that Stalin himself liked. This led to a story that Stalin crossed Pasternak's name off of an arrest list during the purges, quoted as saying "Don't touch this cloud dweller".

Boris Pasternak was filled with a love of life that gave him hope through the dark years of communist Russia and gave his poetry a hopeful tone. Pasternak’s love of life is the principal idea in all of his works.

Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, but he declined to accept it, probably under pressure from the Soviet authorities.

The publication of Doctor Zhivago, with its harsh criticism of the communist regime led to his persecution within the Soviet Union up until his death. Doctor Zhivago was eventually published in the USSR in 1987.


External links

to be addedcs:Boris Leonidovič Pasternak de:Boris Leonidowitsch Pasternak es:Bors Pasternak eo:Boris PASTERNAK fr:Boris Leonidovich Pasternak it:Boris Pasternak ja:ボリス・パステルナーク nl:Boris Pasternak no:Boris Pasternak pl:Borys Pasternak ro:Boris Pasternak ru:Пастернак, Борис Леонидович sl:Boris Leonidovič Pasternak sv:Boris Pasternak


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools