From denying him the Nobel to not seeing the success of his story: four curiosities of “Doctor Zhivago”

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When a book grabs the attention of many viewers, major film production companies seek to adapt the story to the big screen, dividing public opinion. However, there are very few films that make everyone fall in love, as is the case with the work of Boris Pasternak.

Boris Pasternak was a Russian novelist and poet who was born on February 10, 1890, recognized for the book “Doctor Zhivago”, story adapted to the cinema with the same name that many people liked. However, due to the situation in his country, he could not see the light until 1988, in the USSR.

“Doctor Zhivago” gave so much to talk about that to date it is one of the most remembered books for the character of Yuri Andréyevich Zhivago, although there are many curious things behind this story, both in the book and in its author and in the film .

It was published until 1988 in the USSR

It was said that in some paragraphs he had anti-Bolshevik views (Photo: Wikipedia)

The novel was published in 1957 in Italy, but why was it not published in your country?

In those years, there was Soviet Union in power, which is why much of the mentality of the moment was not in line with what was published in Boris’s book. An example: Dr. Zhivago, in the book, is more interested in the well-being of individuals than in that of society.

Not without first mentioning, also, that in some paragraphs it was said that he had anti-Bolshevik views. Years after Nikita Khrushchev read the novel (1964) he said that he regretted not allowing the novel to be published.

Rejected the Nobel Prize for Literature

Doctor Zhivago (Photo: Wikipedia)
Doctor Zhivago (Photo: Wikipedia)

Such was the pressure of the book that a year later, 1958, the Swedish Academy chose it to award the Nobel Prize for Literature.

At first, Boris was happy and sent a letter saying that he was “grateful” and “surprised”. Days later he sent another letter under pressure from Stalinism to reject the award.

Nikita Khrushchev, Former President of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, he prohibited Boris go to receive the award because I thought, rightly so, that the novelist had good contacts with the United States. Just in case, the novel was not published in the USSR until 1988.

“Considering the meaning that this award has taken on in the society to which I belong, I must reject this undeserved award that has been granted to me. Please don’t take this the wrong way,” the letter reads.

The threat of Kremlin through the KGB was to expel the author from the Soviet Union, although he lived in hiding for the last few years on the outskirts of Moscow.

Awarded at the Oscar Awards

90% of the film was shot in Spain and the cold scenes in Canada and Finland.
90% of the film was shot in Spain and the cold scenes in Canada and Finland.

director’s film David Lee It was widely criticized for the set design, but the film won five Oscars, out of ten nominations, as well as being the highest-grossing film of 1965, behind “Gone with the Wind.”

The funny thing was that 90% of the film was shot in Spain and the cold scenes in Canada and Finland.

Five years after the author died, they screened the film. Boris died poor and without seeing the success that his story had.

Relationship with the Tsars

Tsar Nicholas II with his wife, Tsarina Alexandra, Tsarevich Alexei, and their four daughters in 1914. (Photo: PA/Reuters)
Tsar Nicholas II with his wife, Tsarina Alexandra, Tsarevich Alexei, and their four daughters in 1914. (Photo: PA/Reuters)

Alexander Gromeko, who had raised Dr. Yuri Zhivago, tells him: “They have shot the tsars… And to the whole family! It’s a savage!” And Zhivago replies: “No, they want to show that there is no turning back.”

The massacre that almost wiped the czars and the Romanov dynasty off the map was always a very sensitive issue in the old Soviet Union: too many dirty hands in that savagery that changed history, and to which neither Vladimir Lenin nor José Stalin or Leon Trotsky.

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From denying him the Nobel to not seeing the success of his story: four curiosities of “Doctor Zhivago”