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Doctor Zhivago (1957)

by Boris Pasternak

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,068149587 (3.86)2 / 672
Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:First published in Italy in 1957 amid international controversy, Doctor Zhivago is the story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago's love for the tender and beautiful Lara, the very embodiment of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times. Pevear and Volokhonsky masterfully restore the spirit of Pasternak's original??his style, rhythms, voicings, and tone??in this beautiful translation of a classic of world liter… (more)
  1. 30
    All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman (BeeQuiet)
    BeeQuiet: This is one of my favourite books; it explores themes of modernity, providing a fresh insight moving away from the idea that modernity is about fixed repeated sequences. It works through various texts from Goethe, Marx and Baudelaire, through to works created in St Petersburg by authors living in a time when modernity seemed to be passing them by in another world. This is why I would suggest it to anyone fascinated by Russian literature as it gives a brilliant new perspective on the reasons behind their writing.… (more)
  2. 10
    Hope Abandoned by Nadezhda Mandelstam (MeisterPfriem)
    MeisterPfriem: Nadezhda Mandelstam knew personally Pasternak. Her account gives a unique inside to the Russian/USSR society and life under Stalin which is the background to Doctor Zhivago.
  3. 00
    Generations of Winter by Vasily Aksyonov (DelphineM)
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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Folio Society Devotees: Dr. Zhivago7 unread / 7assemblyman, September 2022
 Fans of Russian authors: Dr Zhivago23 unread / 23kaggsy, June 2018

» See also 672 mentions

English (130)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Hebrew (2)  Yiddish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Greek (1)  Slovak (1)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
I honestly was not sure if I was going to like this when I started reading it. I am so glad that I did not put it down. It was an excellent read. Loved it. ( )
  everettroberts | Oct 20, 2023 |
This is a fine, long novel to curl up with in winter. I love Pasternak's poetic writing. I read the English translation. I understand that it's even more beautiful in Russian. Thanks to Debbie Johnson for introducing me to this novel. Unforgettable. ( )
  MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
The movie is one of my favorites but I'd never read the book. I now understand why it was a Nobel Prize winner - a true classic. The descriptive language is simply superb - while the movie story deviated from the book in small ways, I have a new appreciation for the movie soundtrack, which moved the beautiful and heartbreaking background of Russia in war and peace from words to music nearly seamlessly, making both movie and book amazing works of art. ( )
  dhaxton | Aug 30, 2023 |
Although the cover blurb touts it as "a love story for all time", and the movie played it up as a love story, to me it was much more about what was happening to the people in Russia during the time covered in the book and how the great events of the time affected them. It didn't really turn into a love story until about the last quarter of the book.

Doctor Zhivago covers a broad swath of Russian history, from the 1905 rebellion through World War I, the initial revolution in February 1917, the October 1917 Bolshevik revolution, and the following civil war. The lives of Dr. Zhivago, Lara, and their friends and acquaintances are set against this background. Their stories are complicated, and there are a lot of characters who appear, disappear, and turn up unexpectedly later in the novel. Dr. Zhivago's story is tragic, although this is somewhat his own fault. The overall tone of the novel was darker than I expected.

In sum, I'd have to say that it was an interesting story, but I doubt that I would read it again. I struggled a bit with the rating, but finally decided that 3.5 stars is closest to how I feel about it--good, but not great. ( )
  atozgrl | Aug 12, 2023 |
Doctor Zhivago
Borís Pasternak
Publicado: 2020 | 523 páginas
Novela Drama

No es una novela contrarrevolucionaria ni tergiversa las ideas de la revolución. Describe en ella Pasternak, sin abiertas intenciones polémicas, la vida de un «testigo» de una de las épocas más trágicas de la historia rusa. Sólo a comienzos de 1988 esta novela fue publicada en Rusia.El Doctor Zhivago la novela de Pasternak galardonada con el Premio Nobel en 1958, es sin duda el best-seller mundial numero uno de las ultimas décadas. Pero ha sido ademas reconocida por toda la crítica como una obra maestra.La tragedia del protagonista es la tragedia del intelectual revolucionario romántico golpeado por acontecimiento frente a los que nada puede hacer el hombre solo. El Doctor Zhivago es también la historia de un grande y desesperado amor.
  libreriarofer | Jul 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
A la découverte de la littérature russe
Publié en 1958, ce roman n'est autorisé à paraître en URSS qu'en 1985. Cette autorisation est un signe de l'ouverture souhaitée par Mikhaïl Gorbatchev. Le Docteur Jivago dépeint le passage de l'Empire russe à l'URSS, qui s'est traduit par une horrible guerre civile marquant les esprits de toute la population. Un chef-d’œuvre pour découvrir une Sibérie attachante et accueillante.
added by Joop-le-philosophe | editEdiLivre, Flora (Apr 22, 2017)
At the beginning of his novel Pasternak deliberately deprives the Zhivago family of its wealth, as a kind of symbolic prelude to the revolution that is to come. Like so much else in the novel it happens as arbitrarily as if in a fairy tale: the rich king suddenly becomes a poor beggar. “There was a Zhivago factory, a Zhivago bank, Zhivago buildings, a Zhivago necktie pin,…and at one time if you said ‘Zhivago’ to your sleigh driver in Moscow, it was as if you had said: ‘Take me to Timbuctoo!’ and he carried you off to a fairy tale kingdom.” This wealth of gold both symbolizes and contrasts with the wealth of life which will be the precious gift and possession of the son, the hero of the novel...

Tossed about like corks in the tumult, people are thrown up against one another in all sorts of unexpected ways and places. The ruthless partisan commander turns out to be the same young officer we used to know, rumored to have been killed in an attack on the Austrian entrenchments in 1916. The old Swiss lady walking past the trolley in which Zhivago has his fatal heart attack was the former governess of a noble Russian whom he had known briefly when they both worked at a hospital during the war. And this final coming together is in any case unknown to both parties, without apparent significance. And yet everything in life has significance, just because it is life, the thing itself, and not the abstract vision of how it ought to be for which the tyrants of ideology drench the world in blood. As Zhivago observes, you must live, you cannot always be making preparations for living—a sharp comment on the Communist promise that everything is going to be wonderful, some day in the future.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew York Review of Books, John Bayley (Mar 7, 1991)
Those who expect some kind of counter-revolutionary or anti-Soviet journalism from Dr Zhivago will be disappointed. It is not, in that sense, a political novel at all, although it is entirely about the effects of the revolution of 1905, the First World War, the 1917 revolution and the last war, upon a group of families of the upper-class intelligentsia and others. Pasternak is apolitical. His temper is Christian; Marxism is dismissed scornfully as half-baked folly and pomposity...

There is no cliche of invention in Pasternak; there is no eccentricity either. He has the eye of nature. Another refreshing quality is the freedom from the Anglo-American obsession with sex. In love, he is concerned with the heart. It is hard to imagine an English, French or American novel on Pasternak’s subject that would not be an orgy of rape or creeping sexuality.

Dr Zhivago is a great mound of minutely observed particulars and this particularity is, of course, expressive of his central attitude - his stand for private life and integrity.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew Yorker, V.S. Pritchett
Doctor Zhivago has no doubt been much read—like other books that promise to throw some light on the lives of our opposite numbers in the Soviet Union—out of simple curiosity. But it is not really a book about Russia in the sense that the newspaper accounts of it might lead the reader to expect; it is a book about human life, and its main theme is death and resurrection...

Doctor Zhivago will, I believe, come to stand as one of the great events in man’s literary and moral history. Nobody could have written it in a totalitarian state and turned it loose on the world who did not have the courage of genius. May his guardian angel be with him! His book is a great act of faith in art and in the human spirit.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew Yorker, Edmund Wilson

» Add other authors (132 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pasternak, Borisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanari, ManyaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayward, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konkka, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasternak Slater, AnnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasternak Slater, NicolasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasternak, LeonidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins, AaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheepmaker, NicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, MayaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, Reinhold vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zveteremich, PietroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed



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On they went, singing "Rest Eternal," and whenever they stopped, their feet, the horses, and the gusts of wind seemed to carry on their singing.
The fear known as spymania had reduced all speech to a single formal, predictable patter. The display of good intentions in discourse was not conductive to conversation.
After two or three stanzas that came pouring and several metaphors by which he was himself surprised, the work took possession of him, and he began to feel the presence of what is called inspiration. At such moments the correlation of the forces that govern artistic genius have as it were been turned upside down. It is no longer the man and the state of his soul, for which he is seeking expression, that are in the ascendancy now, but the language. his instrument of expression. Language, the home and dwelling of beauty and meaning, itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music, not in the sense of outward, audible sounds, but by virtue of the power and momentum of its inward flow. Then, like the current of a mighty river polishing stones and turning wheels by its very movement, the flow of speech creates in passing, by the force of its own laws, rhyme and rhythm and countless other forms and formations, still more important and until now undiscovered, unconsidered and unnamed.
The rising sun had cast the long dewy shadow of trees in loops over the park grounds. The shadow was not black but dark gray like wet felt. The heady fragrance of the morning seemed to come from this damp shadow on the ground, with strips of light in it like a girl’s fingers. Suddenly a streak of quicksilver, as shiny as the dew on the grass, flowed by him a few paces away. It flowed on and on and the ground did not absorb it. Then, with an unexpectedly sharp movement, it swerved aside and vanished.
He began to write down the legend of St George and the Dragon in lyrical form. He started with broad, spacious pentameter, but its harmony, derived from the metre itself, and independent of the sense, annoyed him by its slick, humdrum sing-song. He gave up the pompous rhythm and the caesura and cut down the lines to four beats, as you cut out useless words in prose.... The writing was livelier but still too verbose. He forced himself to shorter lines. Now the words were crammed in their tetrameters and he felt wide awake, roused, excited; the right words to fill the shot lines came, prompted by the measure.... He heard the horses' hoofs ringing on the surface of the poem as you hear the trotting of a horse in one of Chopin's Ballades.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:First published in Italy in 1957 amid international controversy, Doctor Zhivago is the story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago's love for the tender and beautiful Lara, the very embodiment of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times. Pevear and Volokhonsky masterfully restore the spirit of Pasternak's original??his style, rhythms, voicings, and tone??in this beautiful translation of a classic of world liter

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