The Marsh of Gold: Pasternak's writings on Inspiration and Creation

The Marsh of Gold: Pasternak's writings on Inspiration and Creation


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Major statements by the celebrated Russian poet Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) about poetry, inspiration, the creative process, and the significance of artistic/literary creativity in his own life as well as in human life altogether, are presented here in his own words (in translation) and are discussed in the extensive commentaries and introduction. The texts range from 1910 to 1946 and are between two and ninety pages long. There are commentaries on all the texts, as well as a final essay on Pasternak’s famous novel, Doctor Zhivago, which is looked at here in the light of what it says on art and inspiration. Although universally acknowledged as one of the great writers of the twentieth century, Pasternak is not yet sufficiently recognized as the highly original and important thinker that he also was. All his life he thought and wrote about the nature and significance of the experience of inspiration, though avoiding the word “inspiration” where possible as his own views were not the conventional ones. The author’s purpose is (a) to make this philosophical aspect of his work better known, and (b) to communicate to readers who cannot read Russian the pleasure and interest of an “inspired” life as Pasternak experienced it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936235070
Publisher: Academic Studies Press
Publication date: 09/01/2008
Series: Studies in Russian and Slavic Literatures, Cultures, and History
Pages: 330
Sales rank: 833,355
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

After one book on a German literature topic, Lou Andreas-Salome, Her Life and Writings, Angela Livingstone (Ph.D. Cambridge University) went on to focus on Russian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As a researcher, Dr. Livingstone has specialized mainly in the work of Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva and Andrei Platonov. For more than thirty years she taught in the Department of Literature at the University of Essex, Colchester, U.K. with which, now retired, she is still closely affiliated, holding the title of Research Professor.

Table of Contents

Preface. Acknowledgments. Note on transliteration and dates. Abbreviations. A brief chronology. Note on Pasternak’s connections with literary groups. Introduction. I EARLY PROSE (1910–1919). Some Propositions. [Reliquimini]. Ordering a Drama. Heinrich von Kleist. On Asceticism in Culture. [On the Threshold of Inspiration]. Symbolism and Immortality [Synopsis of a lecture]. [End of a Decade]. The Black Goblet. Letters from Tula. Commentary on I (EARLY PROSE). “Some Propositions” (54). — “[Reliquimini]” and “Ordering a Drama” (56). — “[Reli quimini]” (56). — “Ordering a Drama” (58). — Note on names in the early fiction (60). — “Heinrich von Kleist. On Asceticism in Culture” (60). — “[On the Threshold of Inspira tion]” (63). — “Symbolism and Immortality” (63). — “[End of a Decade]” (67). — “The Black Goblet” (68). — “Letters from Tula” (70). — Other early fiction (72). II A SAFE-CONDUCT or “THE PRESERVATION CERTIFICATE” (1928–1931). Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Commentary on II (A SAFE-CONDUCT, OR THE PRESERVATION CERTIFICATE). The political moment (155). — Rilke (156). — Some patterns (157). — Part One, chapter six (158). — Part Two, chapter three (160). — Part Two, chapter seven (161). — Part Two, chapter seventeen (163). — Mayakovsky (165). — The title (167) III FIFTEEN POEMS (1912–1931). February. Spring. Marburg. About These Verses. Definition of Poetry. Definition of Creation. Let’s drop words. Inspiration. Here’s the Beginning. Slanted pictures. Poetry. To Anna Akhmatova. To Marina Tsvetaeva. Lovely woman. Again Chopin. Commentary on III (FIFTEEN POEMS). IV SPEECHES AND ARTICLES 1930s and 1940s. Speech at the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers (1934). Speech at the International Congress of Writers for the Defense of Culture (1935). Speech at the Third Plenum of the Board of the Union of Soviet Writers (1936). On Shakespeare. A New Collection of Work by Anna Akhmatova. Selected Works by Anna Akhmatova. Notes of a Translator. Paul-Marie Verlaine. Chopin. Remarks on Translations from Shakespeare. Commentary on IV (SPEECHES AND ARTICLES, 1930s and ‘40s). “Speech at the first all-union congress of Soviet writers” (246). — “Speech at the international congress of writers in defense of culture” (248). — “Speech at the third plenum of the board of the writers’ union” (249). — “Articles on Anna Akhmatova” (252). —“Articles on Translation and on Shakespeare” (252). — “Verlaine” (253). —“Chopin” (254). V. An Essay on Pasternak‘s Novel DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. 1. “A novel in prose”. 2. Writing poetry. 3. A merging of concepts. 4. “ . . . some moving entireness”. Notes. Selective bibliography. Index.

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