The Poetry of Boris Pasternak 1917-1959 Selected, Edited, and Translated by George Reavey With an Essay on the Life and the Writings of Pasternak, and a Bibliography, by George Reavey. Also Containing Three Important Prose Pieces of Boris Pasternak
New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1959. First Edition. Hardcover. 256 pages ; 22 cm. Price clipped dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
THE POETRY OF BORIS PASTERNAK
Translated, with a critical and biographical Introduction by George Reavey
With three speeches by Pasternak, hitherto unavailable in English
"HE EMERGED in the early twenties as Russia's most original and gifted poet. While connoisseurs, admired his bold poems and compared him to T. S. Eliot and Rainer Maria Rilke, Communist bureaucrats tabbed him 'a decadent formalist and an enemy of the people.' By 1933 he was reduced to silence and isolation, and his occasional barbed remarks . . . certainly did not help him with the authorities. He earned his living through translations . . . and because his rendering of some poets from Soviet Georgia was favorably received by Stalin, he was saved from persecution."
With the exception of the poetry in Doctor Zhivago and isolated poems which have appeared in various anthologies and periodicals, American readers have had no access to Boris Pasternak's greatest work—the body of his verse on which one of the most substantial literary reputations of our time has been constituted. Now, in George Reavey's excellent translations (which Pasternak calls "the best I know of"), a truly representative collection of his poetry is published, ranging from "My Sister Life, 1917" (first published in Russia in 1923) to "A Time of Abandon," poems written in 1956-1959. The collection spans Pasternak's literary career and conclusively demonstrates the presence of a brilliant mind and a superb artistic talent.
Mr. Reavey's introductory essay relates in detail his personal relationship with Pasternak—a friendship which has existed since the 1930's—and contains biographical and historical data.
George Reavey first became acquainted with Pasternak's poetry while an undergraduate at Cambridge University in the late twenties. He immediately began corresponding with the poet and translating his work. A fast friendship sprang up between them, and when Mr. Reavey was attached to the British Embassy in Moscow during World War II, he had the opportunity of renewing the friendship on a firsthand basis. Since then, Mr. Reavey has become internationally noted as a poet in his own right, a superb translator from the Russian, and an authority on Russian and other modern literatures.
THE POETRY OF BORIS PASTERNAK
• the most representative collection in print of the poetic production of one of the world's great poets, in translations of which Pasternak once said, *7 do not know how to thank you [George Reavey] for your wonderful and remarkable translations and your altruistic interest in me. . . . It would give me great joy if you succeeded in publishing in a separate volume your translations of my work, the best that I know of!' (from a letter to George Reavey from Boris Pasternak)
• an extensive Introduction by George Reavey, detailing his friendship with Pasternak, an acquaintanceship which has lasted for thirty years, and revealing the terrifyingly tense social and historical background of the poetry of Pasternak.
• a list of all the works of Pasternak, and of his translations.
• three hitherto unpublished prose addresses by Pasternak, in which he expresses his aesthetic and social beliefs and standards, and comments on the writers and events of his time.
• more than thirty of the latest poems by Pasternak, dating from late 1956 to the spring of 1959; except for the famous poem NOBEL PRIZE, these poems have never before appeared in English.
"TO GIVE A SENSE OF THE FRESHNESS AND VIVIDNESS OF LIFE IS A VALID PURPOSE FOR POETRY." -WALLACE STEVENS
". . . SURPRISE IS THE GREATEST GIFT WHICH LIFE CAN GRANT US." -BORIS PASTERNAK
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