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Boris (Leonidovich) Pasternak (1890-1960)


Russian poet, whose novel Doktor Zhivago brought him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. Though Boris Pasternak was not a political writer, the award brought him brought him into the spotlight of international politics and he had to decline the honour. Nikita Khrushchev's Soviet Union banned the novel and subsequently Pasternak was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers. After Doctor Zhivago had reached the West, it was soon translated into 18 languages. Pasternak was rehabilitated posthumously in 1987, which made possible the publication of his major work in his own country.

"Yura felt good with his uncle. He resembled his mother. He was a free spirit, as she had been, with no prejudice against anything inhabitual. Like her, he had an aristocratic feeling of equality with all that lived. He understood everything at first glance, just as she had, and was able to express his thoughts in the form in which they came to him at the first moment, while they were alive and had not lost their meaning." (from Doctor Zhivago, translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, with an introduction by Richard Pevear, Pantheon Books, 2010, p. 7)

Boris Pasternak was born into a prominent Jewish family in Moscow, where his father, Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, was a professor at the Moscow School of Painting. His mother, Rosa Kaufman, was an acclaimed concert pianist. Their home was open to such guests as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Leo Tolstoy. Pasternak's neighbour in  Obolenskoye was Aleksandr Scriabin, who recalls in the third movement of his Third Symphony the birds that sang in the woods in the summer of 1903. Inspired by Scriabin, Pasternak entered the Moscow Conservatory, but gave up suddenly his musical ambitions in 1910. He then studied philosophy under Prof. Herman Cohen at the Marburg University in Germany, and returned to Moscow in the winter of 1913-14.

As a poet Pasternak made his debut with the collection Bliznets v tuchakh (1914). During World War I Pasternak worked as a private tutor and at a chemical factory in the Ural Mountains. Due to a leg injury he did not serve in the army. The journey to the Ural gave him material for Doctor Zhivago. Although Pasternak was horrified by the brutality of the new government, he supported the Revolution. His parents and sisters migrated to Germany in 1921, when travel abroad was legalized. Leonid Pasternak died in Oxford in 1945.

After the Revolution of 1917 Pasternak worked as a librarian. With the books Over the Barriers (1917) and My Sister - Life  (1922) he gained fame as a prominent new poet. Pasternak's father proudly mentioned this in a letter he wrote in German to Rilke, who replied: ". . . the youthful renown of your son Boris has reached me from more than one quarter". (Boris Pasternak: His Life and Art by Guy de Mallac, A Condor Book, 1983, p. 79) In the early 1920s Pasternak wrote autobiographical and political poetry, and some short stories, which were collected in The Childhood of Luvers (1922). His memoir 'Safe Conduct' (1930) was continued in 'I Remember' (1959). Pasternak married in 1922 Evgeniia Vladimirovna Lourie. They hand one son, but the marriage dissolved in 1931. In 1934 he married Zinaida Nikolaevna Neigauz.

From the mid-1920s Pasternak moved away from personal themes and focused his attention to the meaning the Revolution, and to historical and moral problems. When the Writer's Union increasingly imposed on the doctrine of socialist realism, he gradually ceased to produce original work. Socialist themes did not attract Pasternak. His concept of realism was not the same as the official doctrine. "We cease to recognize reality," Pasternak wrote in 'Safe Conduct (Autobiography)' "It appears in some new form. This form appears to be a quality inherent in it, and not in us. Apart from this quality everything in the world has its name. It alone is new and without name. We try to give it a name. The result is art." (Safe Conduct: An Autobiography and Other Writings, translated by Robert Payne and C.M. Bowra, introduction by Babette Deutsch, A New Ditections Paperbook, 2009, p. 63)

In the 1930s and 1940s Pasternak's works didn't gain authorities favour and they were not printed. The Russian Association of Proletarian Writers, RAPP, campaigned against the older literary types and criticized Osip Mandel'shtam, Pasternak, and Vladimir Mayakovsky. Pasternak was accused of subjectivism and aestheticism, but Stalin's respect of Pasternak, who did not die in the Gulag Archipelago, remains one of the mysteries of the Soviet dictator's behavior, who even took time to correct L.M. Leonov's Russian Forest with a red pencil. According to a famous story, he had once received a telephone call from Stalin, who asked whether he was present when a lampoon about himself, Stalin, was recited by Osip Mandelstam. Pasternak answered that "what mattered most was his indispensable meeting with Stalin, that it must happen soon, that everything depended on it, that they must speak about ultimate issues, about life and death." (The Proper Study of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays by Isaiah Berlin, edited by Henry Hardy and Roger Hausheer, Pimlico, 1998, p. 534)

Unable to publish his own poetry Pasternak became a translator, selecting works from such authors as William Shakespeare (Hamlet), J.W. von Goethe (Faust), Heinrich Kleist (Prinz Friedrich von Homburg), Paul Verlaine and Rainer Maria Rilke – in the late 1920s he translated Rilke's 'Requiem für eine Freundin.' In his translation of Hamlet Pasternak intepreted the play as a tragedy of duty and self denial. With Rilke he had a brief correspondence, which was cut short by the poet's death. In 1935 he travelled to Paris to participate in the Anti-Fascist Congress. André Malraux, the organizer of the congress, had made the journey possible with his persistence.

Unfit for military service during World War II, Pasternak was evacuated from Moscow by train to eastern Russia. He lost a number of his old readers, intellectuals, who were sent to prison camps, the gulag archipelago. Pasternak wrote patriotic verses, published a collection of poems, Na rannikh poyezdakh (1943), and traveled to the front as a military journalist.  Like Anna Akhmatova he received a flow of letters from soldiers quoting published and unpublished poems. When he returned his apartment had been vandalized and his books and and manuscripts were gone. Another collection appeared in 1945, followed by a selection of earlier poetry in 1947.

From the elliptical expression of his earlier work Pasternak moved toward disciplined simplicity. At the same time his religious and mystical tendencies deepened. "You were all my life, my destiny. / Then came the war and ruin, too. / And for a long, long time I had / No sign, no scrap of news from you," he wrote in 'Daydream.' (The Poems of Doctor Zhivago, translated from the Russian by Eugene M. Kayden, with drawings by Bill Greer, Hallmark Editions, 1967, p. 46) Pasternak did not write political poems, his view was personal, which was considered a political statement by the authorities.

The Soviet literary journal Znamya published Pasternak's lyrics under the title 'Poems from a Novel' (1954), where the novel referred to Doktor Zhivago. His last book of poetry was Kogda razguliaetsia (1960, When the Weather Clears), written through the 1950s. It is both a walk in the memories and in the woodland setting of Peredelkino. There is no more fear of death: "The wood, like an unfinished house, / Holds up its scaffolding. / I see between its arches / My future life revealed. / It all, to the last particle, / Has been accomplished and fulfilled." ('It Has All Been Fulfilled' (1958), Selected Poems, translated from the Russian by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France, W. W. Norton & Co., 1983, p. 153)

Before the Swedish Academy decided to award the Nobel Prize for Literature to Pasternak, Dag Hammarskjöld, who was a member of the academy and secretary-general of the United Nations, approached the American and Soviet sides to learn their reactions to Pasternak's candidacy. Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko was asked whether his country would consider acceptable jointly granting the prize to Mikhail Sholokhov and Pasternak. Gromyko reportedly said, "Yes, Pasternak is well known as a good poet and translator, but Sholokhov is to us personally a greater writer" (Boris Pasternak: His Life and Art by Guy de Mallac, 1981, p. 225).

Following Pasternak's expulsion from the Writers' Union, Sholokhov, who became a Nobel laureate in 1965, said in an interview that Pasternak got the prize not because of Doctor Zhivago's artistic value but because of its "anti-Soviet tendency." The chief of the Young Communist League, Vladimir S. Semichastnyi, described Pasternak as worse than a "pig" - by "dirtying" the place in which he eats and lives, he has done what "even pigs do not do." (Facts on Communism: Volume II: The Soviet Union, from Lenin to Khrushchev, Committee on Un-American Activities, December 1960, p. 335)

Doktor Zhivago was rejected by the Soviet journal Novye Mir. It was published first in Russian behind the Iron Curtain and in Italian translation by the publisher Feltrinelli in Milan in 1957, after the Italian journalist Sergio D'Angelo had smuggled the manuscript out of Russia. A British agent managed to photograph the original manuscript and a copy was delivered to American intelligence. In 1958, a hardcover Russian-language edition was printed in Holland, with the help of Dutch intelligence. The CIA printed a paperback version at its headquarters.  The English translation appeared in 1958. Pasternak probably completed the work in 1954, it had started in 1945, after the death of his father. During the writing process, only some poetical excerpts were published in Moscow. From 1960 on, rumors circulated that the novel would be published in the Soviet Union. In spite of the ban, Doktor Zhivago circulated in samizdat copies and foreign editions. 
The title of the novel refers to the Russian word "zizn", which means "life". In the Soviet Union the book was banned for three decades – Novye Mir considered its spirit that of "nonacceptance of the socialist revolution" – and did not appear until 1988 in Novye Mir, a sign of changing times.
Doctor Zhivago has been recognized by many as the greatest Russian novel of the 20th century. It is partly autobiography and partly epic novel, a many-layered story starting from the year 1903, when Iurii Zhivago's mother died. His father, a rich industrialist, commits suicide through the malign influence of his lawyer, Komarovskii. The boy is brought up in the Gromenko family. Durig this time Zhivago finds his call to poetry and decides to become a doctor. Simultaneously Lara Guishar is seduced in her teens by Komarovskii, and she marries Pasha Antipov. Zhivago qualifies as a doctor, marries, and has a child. He meets Lara during World War I, they fall in love. Throughout the story Zhivago and Lara are repeatedly separated. He moves with his family to Urals after the 1917 Revolution to escape the famine, and the Communists. There he meets Lara. Zhivago chooses a life with her, but is captured by local Boslhevik partisans. Zhivago spends a long time in their forest camps. Eventually he escapes and makes his way back to Lara. Meanwhile his family has returned to Moscow. Komorovskii discovers Lara and Zhivago. They are promised a safe conduct to the east. Lara follows with Komorowskii expecting that Zhivago will follow shortly. He meets Lara's husband Pasha, who commits suicide disillusioned with the Revolution. Zhivago, a broken man, returns to Moscow in 1922, on foot, and attempts to start a new life. He dies in the street years later of a weak heart, in 1929. Lara reappears before his burial. Zhivago's friends collect his poetry. The story ends with a short episode, occurring "five or ten years" after WW II, in which Zhivago's old friends contemplate the fate of their country. – Zhivago was partly modelled on Pasternak and Lara on his companion, Olga Ivanskaya, who was arrested with her daughter after the death of the author.

Pasternak's disagreement with Soviet Communism was not political but rather based on his aesthetic views – he couldn't fully accept official literary doctrines developed from a theory of class struggle but followed his own principles. Already in the 1920s he wrote in a poem: "I was not born to look three times / Into the eyes of men. / Even more senseless than song / Is the dull word ''foe. / As guest am I here. Another guest in every world / Is the malady sublime." (Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography, Volume 1: 1890-1928 by Christopher Barnes, Cambridge University Press, 1989, p. 323) Pasternak did not consider Vladimir Mayakovsky, who had written Communist propaganda, a major poet, he thought little of Ernest Hemingway, and found Jean-Paul Sartre's La Nausée unreadable.

In a personal letter to the premier Nikita Khrushchev Pasternak expressed the hope that he would be allowed to remain in his home country after continuing attacks against his work. "Leaving the motherland will equal death for me. I am tied to Russia by birth, by life and work." ('A Look at the World's Wee', Life, November 10, 1958, p. 41) It is possible that Premier Khrushchev used his influence to calm down attack on Pasternak.

Pasternak remained at Peredelkino, a writers's colony about twenty miles outside of Moscow. His last projects included a play about Aleksander II and the emancipation of the serfs. He also planned to write another novel. Pasternak died from lung cancer on May 30, 1960. At the funeral, people recited his poems, copies of 'August' was distributed, and KGB informers took pictutes. One voice cried, "The poet was killed!" and another responded: "Shame on them!" (Boris Pasternak: His Life and Art, p. 271) Pasternak's son accepted his father's Nobel Prize medal at a ceremony in Stockholm in 1989.

"Pasternak loved Russia," said Isaiah Berlin in The Proper Study of Mankind (1998). "He was prepared to forgive his country all its shortcomings, all, save the barbarism of Stalin's reign; but even that, in 1945, he regarded as the darkness before the dawn which he was straining his eyes to detect – the hope expressed in the last chapters of Doctor Zhivago." (Ibid., pp. 532-533)

Doctor Zhivago was adapted to the screen by David Lean in 1965, together with the screenwriter Robert Bolt. Omar Sharif played the title role as Yuri, and Julie Christie was Lara. The film, shot in Spain and Finland, focused on the love story and used Yuri's stepbrother Yevgraf as a narrator. A number of scenes and characters, important for Pasternak's philosophical vision of the fate of his generation, were omitted.

When the film was edited to its present 3 hours and 17 minutes, much of Maurice Jarre's score was altered. In addition to the customary symphonic instrumentation, there are 24 balalaika players from Los Angeles, Japanese banjos, a Koto (7-foot Japanese harp), along with a six-foot gong, organ, novachord, electric sonovox, harpsichord, electric piano, tack piano, and zither. The composer himself felt upset by the overburdening repetition of 'Lara's Theme', a simple love theme, which had litte to do with Russian folk songs or music of the period, but which became a worldwide hit.

Some reviews were hostile: ". . . the biggest disappointment of 1965 . . . There is nothing holding the effects together, not an idea, or a feeling, or a mood, or even much of a plot, and a relatively capable cast struggles helplessly with Robert Bolt's disconnected, uninspired dialogue as the film bumbles along to boredom." (Andrew Sarris, in Village Voice, December 30, 1965, from Some Like It Not: Bad Reviews of Great Movies by Ardis Sillick and Michael McCormick, Aurum Press, 2000, p. 66)

For further reading: Boris Pasternak and Dr. Zhivago by A.g. Gaev (1959); The Pastenak Affair: Courage of Genius by Robert Conquest (1962); Boris Pasternak by J.W. Dyck (1972); Pasternak: A Critical Study by Henry Gifford (1977); Boris Pasternak's Translations of Shakespeare by Anna Kay France (1978); Boris Pasternak: His Life and Art by Guy de Mallac (1981); Pasternak: A Biography by Ronald Hingley (1982); Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography, Vol. I: 1890-1928 by Katherine Tiernan O'Connor (1989); Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago by Angela Livingstone (1989); The Poet and His Politics by Lazar Fleishman (1990); Boris Pasternak: A Biography by Peter Levi (1990); Boris Pasternak: the Tragic Years, 1930-1960 by Evgeny Pasternak (1990): A Literary Biography, Vol. 1, 1890-1928 by Christopher Barnes (1990); Doctor Zhivago: A Critical Companion, ed. by Edith W. Clowes (1995); Understanding Boris Pasternak by Larissa Rudova (1997); The Same Solitude: Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetaeva by Catherine Ciepiela (2006); Zhivago's Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia by Vladislav Zubok (2009); The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book by  Peter Finn and Petra Couvée (2014); Moscow Has Ears Everywhere: New investigations on Pasternak and Ivinskaya by Paolo Mancosu (2019); Il dottor Zhivago: il giallo letterario del Novecento by Francesco Bigazzi (2021); O Pushkine, o Pasternake: raboty raznykh let by Aleksandr Dolinin (2022) - Suom.: Pasternakilta on myös suomennettu muistelmateos Turvakirja, runosuomennoksia antologioihin Venäjän runotar, Neuvotolyriikkaa 3, muita teoksia valikoimaan Viimeinen kesä sekä antologiaan Neuvostoproosaa I. Marja-Leena Mikkolan suomentama valikoima runoutta, Sisareni, elämä, ilmestyi 2003. See also: Isaiah Berlin

Selected works:

  • Bliznets v tuchakh, 1914 [A Twin in Storm Clouds]
  • Poverkh bar'erov, 1917 [Over the Barriers]
  • Detstvo Liuvers, 1922
    - The Childhood of Luves (translated by Beatrice Scott and Robert Payne, in The Collected Prose Works, 1945) / Zhenia's Childhood (translated by Alec Brown, in Safe Conduct, 1959) / Zhenia's Childhood and Other Stories (translated by Alec Brown, 1982) / Zhenya Luvers' Childhood (translated by Christopher Barnes, in The Voice of Prose, 1986)
  • Sestra moya zhizn: Leto 1917 goda, 1922
    - Sister My Life: Summer 1917 (translated by P.C. Flayderman, 1967) / My Sister-Life (translated by Mark Rudman and Bohdan Boychuk, with Sublime Malady, 1983) / My Sister Life and The Zhivago Poems (translated by James E. Falen, 2012)
  • Temy i variatsii, 1923
  • Karusel, 1925 [The Carousel]
  • Razzkazy, 1925 (as Vozdushnye puti, 1933)
  • 'Leitenant Shmidt', 1926-27 (in Novyi mir 8-9)
  • Deviat'sot piatyi god, 1927
    - The Year Nineteen Five (title poem translated by Richard Chappell, 1989)
  • Vysokaia bolezn, 1928 (in Novyi Mir 11)
    - Sublime Malady (translated by Mark Rudman and Bohdan Boychuk, with My Sister-Life, 1983)
  • Zverinets, 1929 [The Menagerie]
  • Okhrannaya gramota, 1931
    - The Safe Conduct (translated by Beatrice Scott and Robert Payne, in The Collected Prose Works, 1945; Alec Brown, 1959; Angela Livingstone, in Pasternak on Art and Creativity, 1985; Christopher Barnes, in The Voice of Prose, 1986)
  • Spektorskii, 1931
  • Vtoroe rozhdenie, 1932 [Second Birth]
  • Stikhotvoreniia, 1933 (rev. ed., 1935-36)
  • Poemy, 1933
  • Knizhka dlia detei, 1933 [Little Book for Children]
  • Povest', 1934 
    - The Last Summer (translated by George Reavey, 1959) / Seryozha's Story (in The Voice of Prose, translated by Christopher Barnes, 1990)
    - Viimeinen kesä: novelleja ja omaelämänkerrallista (suom. Ulla-Liisa Heino, 1959)
  • Gruzinskiye Liriki, 1935 (with Nikolai Tikhonov, editor and translator)
  • Bystander, 1936
  • Izbrannye perevody, 1940 (selected translations)
  • Gamlet, prints Datskii, 1940 (translation of William Shakespeare's play)
  • Childhood, 1941
  • Na rannikh poyezdakh, 1943
    - On Early Trains (translated by Lydia Pasternak Slater, in Fifty Poems, 1963)
  • Romeo i Dzhul'etta, 1943 (translation of Williams Shakespeare's play)
  • Antonii i Kleopatra, 1944 (translation of William Shakespeare's play)
  • The Collected Prose Works, 1945 (edited by Stefan Schimanski, translated by Beatrice Scott and Robert Payne, rev. ed. Prose and Poems, 1959)
  • Zemnoi prostor, 1945 [Earth's Vastness]
  • Otello, venetsii anskii maur, 1945 (translation of William Shakespeare's play)
  • Selected Poems, 1946 (translated by J.M. Cohen)
  • Gruzinskie poety vperevodakh Borisa Pasternaka, 1947 (Gergian poets; translator)
  • Genrikh Chetvertyi, 1948 (translation of William Shakespeare's play, parts I and II)
  • Stikhotvoreniia, 1948 (translation of N.M. Baratashvili's works)
  • Selected Writings, 1949
  • Korol' Lir, 1949 (translation of William Shakespeare's play)
    - film 1971, dir. Grigori Kozintsev & Iosif Shapiro, screenplay Grigori Kozintsev, starring Jüri Järvet, Elza Radzina, Galina Volchek, Valentina Shendrikova, Oleg Dal, Regimantas Adomaitis
  • Vil'iam Shekspir v perevode Borisa Pasternaka, 1949 (translator)
  • Faust I, 1950 (translation of Goethe's work, complete version, 1953)
  • Vitiaz ianoshch, 1950 (translation of Sándor Petöfi's works)
  • Makbet, 1951 (translation of William Shakespeare's play, in Tragedii, 1951)
  • Doktor Zhivago, 1957 (published in Milano)
    - Doctor Zhivago (translated by Max Hayward and Manya Harari, 1958; Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, 2010)  
    - Tohtori Živago (suom. Juhani Konkka, 1958) / Tohtori Živagon runot (teoksessa Tohtori Živago, suom. Helvi Juvonen ja Arvo Turtiainen, 1958)
    - films: TV series 1959, teleplay by Hélio Ansaldo, prod. TV Tupi (Beazil); 1965, directed by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, screenplay by Robert Bolt ; TV series 2002, dir. by Giacomo Campiotti, screenplay by Andrew Davis, starring Sam Neill, Hans Matheson and Keira Knightley; TV mini-series 2005, dir. by Aleksandr Proshkin, teleplay Yuri Arabov, starring Oleg Menshikov, Chulpan Khamatova, Sergej Garmash, Vladimir Iljin, Sergei Gorobchenko
  • Mariia Stiuart: Tragediia v piati deistviiakh, 1958 (translation of Schiller's play)
  • Stikhi o Gruzii: Gruzinskie poety: izbrannye perevody, 1958 (translator)
  • Safe Conduct: An Early Autobiograph, and Other Works, 1959 (translated by Alec Brown)
  • Kogda razguliaetsia, 1959 (poems 1955-59; bilinguel edition published in Paris, translated by Michael Harari) [When the Weather Clears]
  • Prose and Poems, 1959 (edited by Stefan Schimanski)
  • Poems, 1959 (translated by Eugene M. Kayden)
  • The Poetry of Boris Pasternak 1917-1959, 1959 (edited and translated by George Ravey)
  • The Poetry of Boris Pasternak 1914-1960, 1960 (translated by George Reavey)
  • Poeziia, 1960
  • Stikhotvoreniia ipoemy, 1961
  • Sochineniia, 1961 (3 vols., edited by Gleb Struve and Boris Filippov)
  • Avtobiograficheskii ocherk, 1961 (in Sochineniia, 1961; in Novyi mir, 1967; as Liudi i polozheniia, 1967; in Vozdushnye puti, 1982)
    - I Remember: Sketch for an Autobiography (translated by David Magarshack, 1959) / An Essay in Autobiography (translated by Manya Harari, 1959)
    - Försök till självbiografi (translated into Swedish by Sven Vallmark, 1958) 
  • In the Interlude: Poems 1945-1960, 1962 (translated by Henry Kamen)
  • Fifty Poems, 1963 (translated by Lydia Pasternak Slater)
  • Stihotvorenija i poémy, 1965 (edited by L.A. Ozerov, introduction by A.D. Siniavskii)
  • The Poems of Doctor Zhivago, 1965 (translated by Donald Davie)
  • Zvezdnoe nebo: stikhi zarubezhnykh poetov v perevode, 1966 (translator)
  • Stikhi, 1966 (edited by Z. and E. Pasternak)
  • Letters to Georgian Friends, 1968 (edited and translated by David Magarshack)
  • Slepaia krasavitsa, 1969 (play)
    - The Blind Beauty (translated by Max Hayward and Manya Harari, 1969)
  • Seven Poems, 1969
  • The Poems of Doctor Zhivago, 1971 (translated by Eugene M. Kayden)
  • Temy i variatsii, 1972 [Themes and Variations]
  • Boris Pasternak: Voices of Prose, 1977 (edited by C.J. Barnes)
  • Collected Short Prose, 1977 (edited byChristopher Barnes)
  • Marina Cvetaeva, Boris Pasternak, Rainer Maria Rilke: Lettere 1926, 1980 (edited by Yevgeny Pasternak et al.)
    - Letters: Summer 1926: Correspondence between Boris Pasternak, Maria Tsevateva and Raimer Maria Rilke (translated by Margaret Wettlin and Walter Arndt, 1985)
  • Perepiska s Ol'goi Freidenberg, 1981 (edited by Elliott Mossman)
    - Correspondence of Boris Pasternak and Olga Freidenberg (translated by Elliott Mossman and Margaret Wettlin, 1983)
  • Zhenia's Childhood and Other Stories, 1982 (translated by Alec Brown)
  • Vozdushnye puti. Proza raznykh let, 1982
  • Selected Poems, 1983 (translated by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France)
  • Juvenilia B. Pasternaka, 1984 (edited by Anna Ljunggren)
  • Izbrannoe, 1985 (2 vols.)
  • Pasternak on Art and Creativity, 1985 (edited by Angela Livinsgstone)
  • The Voice of Prose, 1986-90 (2 vols., edited and translated by Christopher Barnes)
  • Sobranie sochinenii, 1989-92 (5 vols.)
  • Boris Pasternak ob iskusstve, 1990 (edited by E.B. and E.V. Pasternak)
    - Taiteesta: Kirjeitä vuosilta 1907-1960 (suom. Marja-Leena Jaakkola, 1996)
  • Iz pisem raznykh let, 1990 [Letters from Various Years]
  • Selected Writings and Letters, 1990 (translated by Catherine Judelson)
  • Zarubezhnaia poeziia v perevodakh B.L. Pasternaka, 1990 [Foreign Poetry; translated by B.L. Pasternak]
  • Poems/Stikhotvereniia, 1990 (bilingual edition, compiled by Evgeny Pasternak)
  • Second Nature: Forty-Six Poems, 1990 (translated by Andrei Navrozov)
  • Perepiska Borisa Pasternaka, 1990 (edited by E. V. Pasternak, E. B. Pasternak)
  • Moi vzgliad na iskusstvo, 1990 [My View on Art]
  • Ob iskusstve, 1990 [On Art]
  • Ne ia pishu stikhi..., 1991 [I Don't Write Poetry...]
  • Izbrannye proizvedeniia, 1991 (edited by E.B. Pasternak)
  • Vtoroe rozhdenie: pis'ma k Z.N. Pasternak / Boris Pasternak, 1993
  • Pis'ma B.L. Pasternaka k zhene Z.N. Neigauz-Pasternak, 1993 (edited by K.M. Polivanova)
  • Sochineniia v dvukh tomakh, 1993 (2 vols.)
    - Boris Pasternak: Sisareni elämä (valikoinut ja suomentanut Marja-Leena Mikkola, 2003)
  • Pis'ma B. L. Pasternaka k zhene Z. N. Neigauz-Pasternak, 1993 (edited by K. Polivanov)
  • "Uslyshat' budushchego zov": stikhotvoreniia, poemy, perevody, proza, 1995 (edited by  L.A. Ozerova)
  • Boris Pasternak i Sergei Bobrov: Pis'ma chetyrekh desiatiletii, 1996
  • Perepiska B. Pasternaka s M. Baranovich, 1998 (edited by K.M. Polivanova)
  • Sushchestvovan'ia tkan' skvoznaia: perepiska s Evgeniei Pasternak dopolnennaia pis'mami k E.B. Pasternaku i ego vospominaniiami, 1998
  • Marburg Borisa Pasternaka, 2001 (edited by E.L. Kudriavtsevoi)
  • Polnoe sobranie sochinenii s prilozheniiami, 2003-2005 (11 vols., edited by D.V. Tevekelian)
  • Pis'ma k roditeliam i sestram 1907-1960, 2004 (edited by E.B. and E.V. Pasternakov)
  • February: Selected Poetry of Boris Pasternak, 2008 (translated by Andrey Kneller)
  • Boris Pasternak: Family Correspondence, 1921-1960, 2010 (translated and with an introduction by Nicolas Pasternak Slater; edited by Maya Slater; foreword by Lazar Fleishman)
  • Nikogo ne budet v dome: izbrannye stikhotvoreniia = Nikog doma biti nehe: izbrane pesme, 2018
  • Vozdushnye puti: khudozhestvenno-biograficheskaia proza: statʹi, 2020 
  • Otrova liubvi: pisʹma 1922-1936 godov, 2020 (Boris Pasternak, Marina TSvetaeva; Izdanie podgotovili E.B. Korkina, I.D. Shevelenko) 

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