Friday, February 10, 2012

Boris Pasternak turned down Nobel Prize

It is the birthday of Russian novelist and poet Boris Pasternak (1890), whose book Doctor Zhivago (1957) was banned in his native land and won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The novel is a sweeping saga set at the end of Czarist Russia and the beginning of the Soviet Union. The ruling Communist Party's negative reaction to the prize led Pasternak to decline it. Pasternak's poetry collection, My Sister's Life (1921), revolutionized Russian poetry. He also translated plays by Shakespeare, Goethe, Schiller and Pedro Calderón de la Barca into Russian.

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