Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Why the Soviets rejected Zhivago

Reading The Zhivago Affair.

Novy Mir's letter of rejection of the novel for publication said in part,

"The spirit of your novel is one of non-acceptance of the socialist revolution.

"The general tenor of your novel is that the October Revolution, the Civil War and the social transformation involved did not give the people anything but suffering, and destroyed the Russian intelligentsia, either physically or morally."

The authors relate one of Pasternak's biographers wrote that the novel's "most heretical insinuation," many years before Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, was that the tyranny of the years of Stalin was "a direct outcome of Bolshevism" - that Stalinism and its horrors were not a terrible aberration, the accepted view under Khrushchev, "but a natural outgrowth of the system created by Lenin."

This assessment of the book seems entirely accurate - and entirely compatible with Nabokov's.
See the previous post.

No comments:

Post a Comment