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My memories of Boris Pasternak


Boris Pasternak
Tomas Venclova Poet
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It would probably be worthwhile to say somewhat more about Pasternak here. Pasternak was a famous, very famous Russian poet who was officially published. But besides what he had published officially, he also wrote the novel Doctor Zhivago which was made into a film in the West later.  It was impossible to have Doctor Zhivago published in Russian since it clearly was not a Soviet work and could even be called an anti-Soviet one. It was published in the West in '58. It was a great success, it was translated into every language and [Boris] Pasternak received the Nobel Prize. He was put under pressure not to accept the prize, and he turned it down. He was afraid that if he went to Stockholm to receive the prize he wouldn’t be allowed to return. And in Moscow, in Russian there were people who were dear to him whom he didn’t want to leave to the mercy of the Soviet government, and that’s why he stayed in Russia. But he was persecuted, reviled in the press, and expelled from the writers’ union and so on and so on. And after another two such difficult years in his life, he died. He died of cancer in 1960.

Apie Pasternaką, galbūt, vertėtų čia kiek daugiau pasakyti. Pasternakas buvo žymus, labai žymus rusų poetas, kuris buvo oficialiai spausdinamas. Bet be to, ką jis oficialiai spausdino, jis dar parašė romaną "Daktaras Živago", pagal kurį vėliau buvo ir filmas padarytas Vakaruose. Ir to "Daktaro Živago" Rusijoje nebuvo įmanoma išspausdinti, kadangi jis buvo aiškiai ne tarybinis, netgi antitarybinis. 58-ais metais jį išspausdino Vakaruose. Jis turėjo didelį pasisekimą, jį išertė į visas kalbas ir Pasternakas gavo Nobelio premiją. Jis buvo spaudžiamas nepriimti tos premijos, jis jos atsisakė. Bijojo, kad jeigu jis išvyks į Stokholmą premijos atsiimti, jo nebeįleis atgal. O Maskvoje, Rusijoj, liko jam artimi žmonės, kurių jis nenorėjo palikti tarybų valdžios malonėj, todėl ir pats liko Rusijoje. Bet buvo persekiojamas, plūstamas per spaudą, ir pašalintas iš Rašytojų sąjungos ir taip toliau, ir taip toliau. Ir po dviejų metų tokio sunkaus gyvenimo jis mirė. Mirė vėžiu 1960-ais metais.

Born in 1937, Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature. He was educated at Vilnius University and later at Tartu University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had to emigrate. Between 1977 and 1980 he lectured at University of California, Berkeley, where he became friends with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, who was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the school, as well as the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. He is currently a full professor at Yale University.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Doctor Zhivago, 1958, 1960, Boris Pasternak

Duration: 1 minute, 21 seconds

Date story recorded: May/June 2011

Date story went live: 20 March 2012