My Sister Life and The Zhivago Poems

Front Cover
Northwestern University Press, Apr 30, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 164 pages
0 Reviews

Boris Pasternak is best known in the West for his epic novel Doctor Zhivago, whereas in !--?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /--Russia he is most celebrated as a poet. The two poetry collections offered here in translation are chronological and thematic bookends, and they capture Pasternak’s abiding and powerful vision of life: his sense of its beauty and terror, its precariousness for the individual, and its persistence in time—that vitality of being with which he is on familiar and familial terms.

!--?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /--

In the early work My Sister Life, which commemorates the year 1917, Pasternak, then in his late twenties, found his poetic voice. The book would go on to become one of the most influential collections of Russian poetry of the twentieth century. “The Poems of Yury Zhivago” are a part of the poet’s famous novel, Dr. Zhivago, whose title might be rendered in English as “Doctor Life.” These later lyrics are a kind of summing up that reflect, from the perspective of age and approaching death, upon the accumulated experience of a contemplative life amid turbulent and terrifying times.

Falen’s fresh new translations of these poems capture their expression of the beauty and the joy, the terror and the pain, of what it is to be alive . . . and to die.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Isnt It Time for Birds to Sing
9
The Book of the Steppe
21
Diversions for the Beloved
33
Studies in Philosophy
43
Some Songs in Letters So She Wont Be Bored
53
Romanovka
61
An Effort to Untie the Soul
69
The Return
77
To Helen
85
Afterword
93
The Poems of Yury Zhivago
107
One Late Poem
161
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (10 February 1890 – 30 May 1960) was a Nobel Prize-winning Russian and Soviet poet of Jewish descent, novelist and translator of Goethe and Shakespeare. In Russia, Pasternak is most celebrated as a poet. My Sister Life, written in 1917, is one of the most influential collections of poetry published in the Russian language in the 20th century. In the West he is best known for his epic novel Doctor Zhivago, a tragedy whose events span the last period of the Russian Empire and the early days of the Soviet Union.

James E. Falen is an emeritus professor of Russian at the University of Tennessee. He is the translator of acclaimed editions of Pushkin's Selected Lyric Poetry (NUP). Falen's translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin is widely considered to be the one most faithful to Pushkin's spirit.

Bibliographic information