Ideal from smuggling into the USSR


Doktor Zhivago v vyderzhkakh i poiasneniiakh, opublikovannykh v ezhenedelnike Posev №№ 46, 47, 48 i 49 za 1958 g

[Doctor Zhivago in Excerpts and Explanations]

Publication: Posev, [Frankfurt-am-Main, ca. end of 1958-early 1959].

PASTERNAK, Boris, Doktor Zhivago v vyderzhkakh i poiasneniiakh, opublikovannykh v ezhenedelnike Posev №№ 46, 47, 48 i 49 za 1958 g

A scarce, very early pamphlet with important excerpts from Pasternak’s celebrated novel – banned in the USSR and published here with help of the CIA.

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Our Notes & References

Scarce early booklet gathering key extracts, in the original Russian, from Pasternak’s masterpiece. A very good example of this fragile publication.

These extracts were first published by Posev in the eponymous weekly in November-December 1958 (issues no. 46 to 49), weeks after Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize on 23 October 1958. This book edition is preceded by an introduction mentioning the famous events surrounding the award, and giving a few details regarding the complex publication history of the novel. However it doesn’t indicate where Posev’s Russian text comes from – possibly the Feltrinelli Russian edition, which was being printed roughly at that time, or more probably the Mouton, CIA-backed edition, printed earlier under a false Feltrinelli imprint (Posev being itself linked with the CIA).

The explanations accompanying the excerpts open with the tribute to the novel’s ‘complex and exquisite architectonics’. The book contains passages from all 17 parts of the novel, and short summaries of the rest of the text. The 17th part, constituted of poems of Yurii Zhivago, is here represented by a significant group of 14 poems out of the original 25 published in the book.

WorldCat locates four copies in the USA (Yale, Stanford, Harvard and UCLA) and two in Europe (Madrid and Geneva).

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Physical Description

Octavo (14.8 x 20 cm). 86 pp. incl. title, blank leaf.


Publisher’s wrappers with one staple.


Wrappers detached at the staple, with small hole, the odd foxing and minor creasing, otherwise a pleasant example.

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