Dr zhivago ne level 5/book Paperback – Apr 15 2008
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“The best way to understand Pasternak’s achievement in Doctor Zhivago is to see it in terms of this great Russian literary tradition, as a fairy tale, not so much of good and evil as of opposing forces and needs in human destiny and history that can never be reconciled . . . [Zhivago is] a figure who embodies the principle of life itself, the principle that contradicts every abstraction of revolutionary politics.”—from the Introduction by John Bayley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
BORIS Leonidovich PASTERNAK won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958 "for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition.” — the Nobel Prize committee. Pasternak had to decline the honor because of the protests in his home country. Doctor Zhivago became an international bestseller and was translated into 18 languages but circulated only in secrecy and translation in Russia. In 1987 the Union of Soviet Writers posthumously reinstated Pasternak, a move that gave his works a legitimacy they had lacked in the Soviet Union since his expulsion from the writers' union in 1958 and that finally made possible the publication of Doctor Zhivago in the Soviet Union. Pasternak's son accepted his father's Nobel Prize medal at a ceremony in Stockholm in 1989. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Doctor Zhivago is generally less coherent and cogent than any of the true classics of Russian literature. Many of the vignettes embedded in the book are beautiful, and as passages of near poetry, almost can standalone. Yet, as moving as much of the book is, its heft is insufficient at helping Pasternak push towards any master theme, focus or even plot, so the force is dissipated at the end. It is no accident that the book's conclusion and epilogue seem aimless.
What redeems the novel is the wonderful characters: Zhivago himself, of course, the brilliant doctor, with the dreamy poetic sensibility; the beautiful and bright Lara (who unfortunately ultimately fails as a character, though, because it's unclear what she is meant to be at the end; the contrast with Tonia could have been made better if Tonia had not been left so two-dimensional); the tactician Strelnikov, whose combination of military brilliance and ruthlessness enthralls us; the way he exits the novel at the end is unfortunately also a disappointment).
Even with such a complex plot, "Doctor Zhivago" remains a primarily character-based novel, as can be seen from the vast number of names and people we become familiar with throughout the story. Even the minor characters become dear to us, once we have figured out who they actually are and how they are connected to the main story. It is a challenging process to sort through the long list of characters, who may have any number of pseudonyms or nicknames along with their original Russian forenames. It is rewarding to recognize that Pavel Pavlovich, Pasha, Antipov, and Strelnikov are, in fact, the same person. We are also given several glimpses into the views and opinions of minor characters. Each person we meet along the way has a detailed history and a certain point of view to establish. Even if a character is only remotely connected to the main plot, Pasternak educates us on his family history and his role in the revolution.Read more ›
The interaction of Pasternak's characters is masterful. His ability to weave the lives of generations of characters reminds me of Michener's. None of what happens in the novel, none of the interaction of the characters, appears to be superfluous-all has meaning. In my opinion, the notion that everything has a purpose is one of the strongest themes of the novel, and is part of what makes the novel so interesting, given that it was written under the iron curtain.
Though this is a work of fiction, it provided me with several important insights into the history of Russia. For instance, Pasternak does an excellent job telling about how the revolution came about, what the means and methods of the revolution were, simply by telling the story of the novel. In the sense that it is historically accurate and representative of the times, the book certainly was educational for me. I certainly recommend it to those who love to read history and look for insights about humanity. I only wish that I could read it in Russian.
To those of you who read this book looking for a love story, I can only say that I pity you because you missed the true beauty of this book. Finally those who say that Lara and Yuri did not have a real love affair it is because the times that they lived in could not allow a true one to blossom. When people do not have food to eat or there survival is not guaranteed they do not worry about the more abstract principles of love.
So to those of you who want to read a love story stick to the cheep paperbacks because this book is not for you. However, to those of you who want to experience an amazing account of life during the Russian Revolution (or any war for that matter) you will not regret reading this book.
PS. If you can read the Russian language and the poems in back to truly appreciate the genius of Pasternak.
Most recent customer reviews
I watched the movie before I read the book and one thing for sure is the fact that the movie dwelled too much on the Lara and Yuri love story. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2013 by John T C
Great - Bought this for my son - he loved it!! This is one of his favourite movies!! Thanks for everything!!Published on April 6 2013 by JM
It was amazing! I bought this used classic book in very good condition for ONE cent! An experience reading it is priceless.Published on Feb. 6 2011 by Svetlana Saitova
I've been a fan of Pasternak the poet and human being for a long time. His poetry is beautiful, reflecting his deep love of nature and his native land, and I've always found it... Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Anyechka
...a stellar translation and the only one to buy. Most cross-linguistic clumsiness is eliminated, leaving only the text's raw grace.Published on April 28 2004 by Book dallier
The manuscript for this novel was smuggled out of the Soviet Union and published initially in Europe. Read morePublished on April 25 2004 by Fred Camfield
Absolutely terrible. He should have stuck to writing poetry. If you're interested in the story, see the movie: it's true to the book but is actually organized and coherent.Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Zingerific
This book is about the survival of human spirit and love above war and other evils that affected Russia during the revolution. The story follows Dr. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2003 by T. Chandrayadula
This is really a great book. As I understand, when it first came out, it was banned in the Soviet Union and the author was not allowed to go and get his Nobel Prize. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2003 by Andrew C. LING