Sensitively translated, beautifully bound, and illustrated with original oil paintings, this is the ultimate edition of a literary masterpiece
Illustrated by Leonid Pasternak
Translated by Nicolas Pasternak Slater
Introduced by Ann Pasternak Slater
Introduced by Ann Pasternak Slater
Commissioned by The Folio Society, Nicolas Pasternak Slater’s definitive new translation of the Nobel Prize-winning Doctor Zhivago is illustrated with original paintings by Boris Pasternak’s father, Leonid, with a new introduction by the author’s niece.
Two volume set
Bound in blocked cloth
Set in Albertina
Vol 1: 312 pages, Vol 2: 352 pages
68 integrated illustrations and sketches
10˝ x 6¾˝
Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece
A leading poet of his generation, Boris Pasternak wrote only one novel. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Russian Revolution, Doctor Zhivago is the epic story of Yuri Zhivago, a poet and musician who finds himself caught in the battle between the Bolshevik Red Army and the anti-communist Whites, and torn between the two women he loves. One of the greatest love stories ever told, it is also a depiction of Russia’s suffering and courage through revolutions, war and the purges of the Soviet regime. The novel was smuggled out of Russia and first published in Italian in 1957, and was immediately acclaimed as a masterpiece in the West. However, the freedom promised in the novel contrasts grimly with the fate of its writer: threatened with disgrace and exile, Boris Pasternak was finally denounced as an enemy of the people.
The definitive translation exclusive to Folio
Rushed to press in 1958, the first English edition was criticised for its omissions and simplifications; while the second, published 50 years later, is literal but lacks elegance. In this definitive new translation, Nicolas Pasternak Slater – an eminent translator of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy – brings English-language readers as close as possible to his uncle’s authentic voice. The text reads effortlessly while retaining the richness and musicality of the original. Slater’s precise language and unique perspective as a close relative of the author is explored in detail in Ann Pasternak Slater’s introduction to the novel. The renowned literary critic – and niece of the author – argues that this new translation reveals the connection between man and nature through its poetic prose.
‘Thanks to Pasternak Slater’s choices, reading the novel becomes a pleasure’
- Christina Jacobson, Los Angeles Review of Books
Original paintings by Leonid Pasternak
Boris Pasternak acknowledged his father as the single most important influence on his creative development, and saw him as ‘a great, great artist’. Leonid left Russia in 1921 and saw Boris only once afterwards but they maintained an intense correspondence whenever war and censorship permitted. Leonid worked in oil, watercolour, pastel, chalk and pencil and these mediums are represented in the 67 paintings selected to illustrate this edition. Author and academic Maya Slater curated the series from the artist’s vast archives in Oxford and Moscow, and each was specially chosen for its echoes of the novel’s tone, atmosphere and characters.
ABOUT BORIS LEONIDOVICH PASTERNAK
About LEONID OSIPOVICH PASTERNAK
About NICOLAS PASTERNAK SLATER
Nicolas Pasternak Slater is the son of Boris Pasternak’s sister Lydia and her husband Dr Eliot Slater. Born in Oxford, he trained as a Russian interpreter in the Royal Navy, and then studied Russian and German at Queen’s College, Oxford. He undertook research in linguistics and automated translation at the University of Milan (Italy). He then qualified in medicine and completed his medical career as a Consultant Haematologist at St Thomas’s Hospital, London. After retirement he took up translating from Russian, publishing Boris Pasternak: Family Correspondence, 1921–1960 with Hoover Institution Press (Stanford, USA), followed by Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time, Pushkin’s A Journey to Arzrum, Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, all for Oxford University Press; and Chekhov’s The Beauties: Essential Stories for Pushkin Press, London. He lives in London with his wife Maya Slater. Their two daughters Lydia and Sasha work in journalism. They have four grandchildren.
ABOUT ANN PASTERNAK SLATER
Ann Pasternak Slater is the younger sister of Nicolas. Their mother, Boris’s youngest sister Lydia, took Ann with her on her first return to Moscow, immediately after Boris’s death in 1960, and Ann often visited the Pasternak family after that. She translated the memoirs of Alexander Pasternak: A Vanished Present (OUP, 1984); Alexander was Boris’s younger brother, an architect (among other things the designer of Lenin’s first, wooden mausoleum). Ann has written a biographical account of Boris’s lifelong engagement with Shakespeare: ‘Indirect Dissidence: Shakespeare and Pasternak’, in Great Shakespeareans, vol. xiv, ed. Ruth Morse (Bloomsbury, 2013). She has also published books on Shakespeare and Evelyn Waugh, and is a Senior Research Fellow at St Anne’s College, Oxford.
ABOUT MAYA SLATER
Maya Slater is a Senior Research Fellow of Queen Mary University of London. Among the books Maya Slater has edited are Boris Pasternak: Family Correspondence, 1921–1960, translated by her husband Nicolas Pasternak Slater, and her own verse translations of Molière’s plays. She is the author of Humour in the Works of Proust, The Craft of La Fontaine and other works on French literature, and of a novel, Mr Darcy’s Diary.
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