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Boris Leonidovich Pasternak – Renowned Author of Doctor Zhivago

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was born in Moscow on 10 February 1890, to a talented father who was an artist and a mother who was a celebrated concert pianist. His father, Osipovich Pasternak was not only a professor, teaching at the Moscow School of Painting, but was also responsible for the illustrations that can be seen in many of Tolstoy’s books.

When she wasn’t entertaining concert audiences as a musician, his mother Rosa Kaufman was entertaining famed guests that included Tolstoy, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Rainer Maria Rilke Leonid. Surrounded by so much talent and by gifted people, it was no surprise that Boris Pasternak would grow up to be the most influential writer in the history of Russia.

Aleksandr Scriabin, a frequent visitor to the Pasternak household, inspired Boris to try his hand in the musical arts. However, Pasternak realized that music was not his dream and turned his attention to literature in 1912. Professor Herman Cohen took Boris Pasternak under his wing while he studied at the German Marburg University between the years 1913 to 1914. In 1914, Pasternak released his first poetry collection called 'Bliznets V Tuchakn'. He followed by writing works such as 'My Sister Life', 'Over the Barriers', 'The Childhood of Luvers', 'Safe Conduct' and 'I Remember'. Pasternak entered into a short-lived marriage to Egeniia Valdimirovna Lourie between 1922 and 1931, from which a son was born. In 1934, he remarried Zinaida Nikolaevna Neigauz.

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak would go on to write many more books and poems. When he was not permitted to publish his work, due to the restrictions imposed by the Russian leadership, Boris kept himself busy translating.

Pasternak will always be remembered for his most internationally famous novel, 'Doctor Zhivago'. In 1958, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for this magnificent book, but regrettably had to decline the honor due to political pressure from within Russia. The first film debut of the novel 'Doctor Zhivago' was filmed in 1965. Unfortunately Pasternak did not live long enough to see the film or to witness the eventual release of Doctor Zhivago in Russia.

Boris Pasternak passed away on 30 May 1960 in Peredelkino, due to lung cancer. Twenty eight years later 'Doctor Zhivago' was publicly sold in Russia in 1988. Pasternak will be remembered for his support of the revolution, the fight against the oppression of his country and the magnificent literature he left behind for the future generations.


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