Sunday, February 10, 2008

Boris Pasternak.

Today is the anniversary of Boris Pasternak's birth. Pasternak was one of the giants of 20th Century Russia literature. I have loved his poetry ever since my Father introduced me to him when I was a child. My favorite Pasternak poem has always been Февраль or "February." When my Father first recited this poem to me, I was blown away by how accurately Pasternak captured February. His most famous work was the novel Doctor Zhivago which told the story of a man attempting to maintain a life during the Civil War years following the October Revolution of 1917. This novel was, like all great works of literature, inspired in part by Pasternak's own life. After Doctor Zhivago was smuggled to the West and published, Pasternak won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature which he was forced to refuse. He died two years later of lung cancer in a village outside Moscow.