Doctor Zhivago

Topics: Soviet Union, Communism, Russia Pages: 4 (1512 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Stalinism in Russia
The novel Doctor Zhivago, although it contains passages written in the 1910s and 1920s, was not completed until 1956. The novel was submitted to the literary journal Novy Mir. However, the editors declined Pasternak's novel because of its embedded rejection of socialist realism. The author, much like Zhivago in the story, showed more concern for the interests of individuals than for the welfare of the social order. Soviet censors interpreted some passages as anti-communist and more idealistic. They were also infuriated by Pasternak's understated disparagement of Stalinism and his references to the Gulag. In 1957, an Italian publisher, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, organized for the novel to be smuggled out of the Soviet Union by Isaiah Berlin. Much to the Soviet Union’s dismay, Feltrinelli simultaneously published copies in both Russian and in Italian. Demand for Doctor Zhivago was so great Feltrinelli was able to authorize translation rights into eighteen different languages long before the novel's publication. The Communist Party of Italy debarred Feltrinelli from their association in retribution for his role in the publication of a novel they felt was vital for communism. On the other hand, the novel topped international bestseller lists, the British MI6 and the American CIA commenced an operation to ensure Doctor Zhivago was correctly submitted to the Nobel Committee. It was known that a Nobel Prize for Boris Pasternak would seriously damage the international integrity of the Soviet Union. In result to this, British and American operatives seized and photographed a manuscript of the novel and privately printed a small number of books in the Russian language. These were submitted to the Nobel Committee's surprised judges just ahead of the deadline. The fictional story, Doctor Zhivago, is about a physician and poet named Doctor Yuri...
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