THE VOICE OF PROSE: Vol. I, Early Prose and Autobiography by Boris Pasternak

THE VOICE OF PROSE: Vol. I, Early Prose and Autobiography

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very welcome re-compilation of Pasternak prose: not only does it include a novella from 1916-1917, ""Suboctave Story""--never before translated into English; it also offers whole the classic first autobiography Safe Conduct, as well as rarely-to-be-found-nowadays ""The Quintessence"" (sometimes printed under the title ""Some Statements"")--from a 1932 piece that's one of the more important (but less known) documents of international modern poetics. ""Suboctave Story""--left half-finished by Pasternak--is a German-tinged (Kleist, Hoffman) baroque tale about an organist who accidentally crashes his son to death in the organ's coupler mechanism--and who then must deal with his guilt. Pasternak's artistic/musical family background adds a psychoanalytic shading, but the story is more straightforwardly involved in experimenting with themes (more fully developed later) of artistic responsibility and its mysterious grace. Included also are more familiar autobiographical sketches--""Zhenya Luvers' Childhood"" and ""Letters from Tula""--in all making for a valuable volume of the prose of perhaps the most laxly appreciated of the century's greatest writers.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1986
Publisher: Grove