DOCTOR ZHIVAGO by Boris Pasternak

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Doctor Zhivago, a modern novel in the great Russian tradition, was barred from publication in the author's own country -- the Soviet Union. It is in Italy and, now, in the United States that this fine work must seek its audience. Embracing the first half of the century, the opening chapters portray the pre-revolutionary atmosphere of unrest in which Zhivago's intellectual and moral ideals take root. After his service in the army he takes his family to the Urals and there is kidnapped by partisan forces to Siberia where he leads an inhuman existence. After a successful escape he has a brief reunion with his true love and companion and travels to Moscow only to find his family in exile. Rather than capitulate to the obligatory Weltanschaung he waives the academic life for manual labour and finally dies in a tram, suffering. The critical picture of Soviet society -- the price of Revolution- is framed by the philosophical considerations of the problems of good and evil, historical necessity vs. individual freedom, spiritual values as imminent rather than transcendant. Absolutely a must for the litterati.

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 1958
ISBN: 0679774386
Publisher: Pantheon