Boris Pasternak


The conclusion of Pasternak’s translation of King Lear (with English subtitles).  Lear’s “howl” speech begins at the six minute mark.

Today is Boris Pasternak‘s birthday (1890-1960).

Frye cites Pasternak in The Modern Century to distinguish between an ideologically enforced “stupid realism” and a fully liberated “revolutionary realism”:

It seems clear that an officially approved realism cannot carry on the revolutionary tradition of Goya and Daumier.  It is not anti-Communism that makes us feel that the disapproved writers, Daniel and Babel and Pasternak, have most to say to us: on the contrary, it is precisely such writers who best convey the sense of Russians as fellow human beings, caught in the same dilemma that we are.  Revolutionary realism is a questioning, exploring, searching, disturbing force: it cannot go over to established authority and defend the fictions which may be essential to authority, but are never real. (CW 11, 33-4)

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