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Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak
A Literary Biography

Volume 1. 1890–1928


Part of Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography

  • Date Published: February 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521520720

£ 56.00

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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

    'Christopher Barnes's Literary Biography, of which this solid work is the first of two volumes, will certainly become the standard and indispensable guide for students not only of the poet but of his age and literary milieu.' John Bayley, London Review of Books

    'Barnes's book is admirably full and scholarly; it is also self-effacing; he does not offer judgements, but seeks to understand and situate the young Pasternak in his time, against a background of European symbolism, futurism and revolution.' Scotsman

    '… an impressively thorough and sensitive account of Pasternak's life in the period up to 1928, with a well judged balance between the private and the public … In all, this volume conveys a sharp and consistent intuition of a complex poetic personality.' Slavonic and East European Review

    'Christopher Barnes's book … rests on a mountain of scholarly research: when completed, it is likely to become the definitive reference work to Pasternak's life.' The Sunday Times

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521520720
    • length: 528 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 30 x 152 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • 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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