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Look Inside Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak
A Literary Biography

Volume 1. 1890–1928

$221.00 (C)

Part of Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography

  • Date Published: November 1989
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521259576

$ 221.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This authoritative new biography of the Russian poet and prose writer Boris Pasternak is the first part of a two-volume set, covering the period 1890-1928. Drawing on archives and many eyewitness accounts, Barnes' study sheds light on currently unexplored aspects of Pasternak's character and family background, and his artistic, social and historical environment. He combines biographical investigation with detailed textual analysis of translated quotations in verse and prose to reveal the source of Pasternak's extraordinary writings. The book examines a wide range of topics that include his musical enthusiasm and relations with Scriabin, his philosophical studies, his activities in World War I and his response to the 1917 revolutions, and his stance as a liberal artistic intellectual in the 1920s.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "In this extraordinary book, Barnes does for Boris Pasternak what Joseph Frank, in his brilliant multivolume study, did for Fyodor Dostoevsky--i.e., combine meticulous scholarship with a broad understanding of the times and weave both into an enthralling account of the writer's life and works." E. Yarwood, Eastern Washington University, in Choice

    "Painstakingly researched, elegantly produced and illustrated and gracefully written...This first volume, which covers the years 1890 to 1928, runs to more than 500 pages, and when the second volume appears we will have the most complete biography of the poet in any language. One is tempted to use the word definitive--at least for the present generation--in the case of this book. As the crowning achievement of more than two decades of sustained research, it deserves comparison with such other multivolume studies as Avril Pyman's work on the poet Aleksander Blok (although Mr. Barnes is more objective than Ms. Pyman) and Joseph Frank's celebrated biography of Dostoyevsky." David Bethea, The New York Times Book Review

    "Christopher Barnes writes carefully, intelligently, and with a restrained gentlemanly wit that softens the impact of his thorough and intimidating familiarity with his subject and with the people, events, and issues involved in the first stage of Boris Pasternak's career...It is indeed a literary biography in its best function, that of a handmaiden to a serious study of the poet's art." World Literature Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1989
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521259576
    • length: 528 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 159 x 44 mm
    • weight: 0.965kg
    • contains: 34 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. Origins and infancy
    2. School and Scriabin
    3. Revolution and Berlin
    4. Youth's impressions, literature and music
    5. Literature, love and creativity
    6. Philosophy in Moscow and Marburg
    7. A literary launch
    8. Wartime in the Urals and Over the Barriers
    9. Quiet Hills and revolution
    10. Civil war activities
    11. Berlin interlude
    12. Malady Sublime and the air of history
    13. The epic age
    14. Breaches, losses, and lyric revival

  • Author

    Christopher Barnes, University of Toronto

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