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Boris Pasternak
Il Dottor Zivago,
1957.

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Description

Édition originale rare et recherchée
du chef-d’œuvre de Pasternak.

« La publication du Docteur Jivago
en 1957 en Italie,
après qu’elle a été rejetée par les éditeurs soviétiques
est un évènement de portée mondiale,
le défi involontaire d’un homme seul
face à un système totalitaire 
» (D. C. Gillepsie).


Pasternak, Boris. Il Dottor Zivago.
Giangiaccomo Feltrinelli Editore Milano, 15 noviembre 1957.

In-8 de 710 pp., (1) f.
Couverture verte, jaquette imprimé illustrée par Ampelio Tettamenti, tel que paru. Couverture et jaquette de l’époque.

204 x 125 mm.

Édition originale rare et recherchée de ce chef-d’œuvre de Pasternak qui provoqua la fureur des autorités soviétiques et valut le prix Nobel de littérature à son auteur.

R. Biondi, Working and typesetting manuscript trees and the first and early editions of Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak; Panorama des littératures européennes, J. B. Piat ; The twentieth century russian novel : an introduction, D. C. Gillespie, pp.102-132.

Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, éditeur et communiste italien convaincu, parvint à acheminer le manuscrit du Docteur Jivago hors de Russie et, résistant aux pressions de la part des autorités soviétiques, fait publier l’œuvre en italien en 1957.

Lee Raffaele Biondi de Biondi Rarebooks & Manuscripts a réalisé la seule étude bibliographique recensant les différentes éditions du chef-d’œuvre de Boris Pasternak connue à ce jour; en voici un résumé:

The publication history of the most important Russian novel of the Twentieth Century is complicated.

In the winter of 1945/6 Boris Pasternak, long acknowledged and loved as one of Russia’s greatest poets, had resumed writing actively on a major prose work. In a very real sense, Boris Pasternak had been working on this masterpiece all his life.

Boris Pasternak was born in 1890 into a cultured and artistic urban Jewish family. By 1917 he had published his first collection of original poems. Like all of his generation, much of his existence and worldview was defined through, or against, the Russian Revolution and its aftermath of Stalinism. The Revolution, and its subsequent growing suppression of artistic and social freedoms would dominate his literary existence, especially as he moved from poetry to more controversial prose with work on his masterpiece, Doctor Zhivago.

As early as February 1946, Pasternak optimistically told a friend that the novel would be ready by that summer. Meanwhile, a brief fifteen-month post-war period of relative liberalism came to an abrupt end during August 1946 when the Party Central Committee passed the resolution « On the Magazines Zvezda and Leningrad » which denounced the publication of material « hostile or alien to the interests of Soviet literature. »

Pieces of the working drafts of Zhivago began being circulated in the Russian underground literary community, and being smuggled to the West through Oxford, as early as 1948. He warned against any attempts to print the material because such publication « would threaten me with disastrous, not to say fatal, consequences, since the spirit in which it is written and my situation here make its appearance impossible. »

The controversial Italian Communist publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli of Milan tried to obtain a typescript from Pasternak. Feltrinelli began to try to obtain the rights to publish in Italy in Italian. Pasternak agreed to such an arrangement.

By this time the KGB had issued a communiqué describing Zhivago as  » a heinous calumny » thus making its potential publication an affair of the state. At this point the Soviet journal Novy mir officially turned down the novel.

The State was attempting to recover the escaped typescript in Italy and to prevent the Feltrinelli edition. Feltrinelli, though an avowed Communist, declared he would sooner leave the Party than break his commitment to Pasternak and this great novel. Feltrinelli wanted to publish the first edition so as to have international copyright control and he knew that translations were already in the works in English, French, German, Czech and Polish.

On 22 November 1957 the Italian translation of Doctor Zhivago was published by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore of Milan. The highly anticipated first printing sold out the first day; many reprints followed immediately. The novel was greeted as a major artistic triumph.

Numerous translations into many languages around the world followed.

Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. Under intense pressure from the Soviet authorities, Pasternak was forced to decline the award. In a published letter from Pasternak to Khrushchev Pasternak publicly rejects the Nobel Prize, but refuses to apologize, closing with the phrase: « With my hand on my heart, I can say that I have done something for Soviet literature and I can still be useful to it. »

Chronological Bibliography of the First Editions of Doctor Zhivago.

True First Edition, in Italian.

Feltrinelli’s edition, the true first. Translated by Pietro Zveteremich in Rome. Translation completed 18 June 1957. Published November 1957 over the imprint Milano: Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore.

First Edition in French.

The Gallimard edition seen through the press by Jacqueline de Proyart. Anonymous translation.

First Edition in Russian

[title page in Cyrillic:] Boris Leonidovich Pasternak/Doctor/Zhivago/A Novel/G Feltrinelli – Milan/1958. [actually:] [The Hague: Mouton, 1958]

First editions in English

September 1958 in New York by Pantheon and, simultaneous or just thereafter, in London by Collins & Harvill,

Première œuvre d’un écrivain soviétique connu à contester les bases idéologiques du système communiste, Le docteur Jivago fait sensation en Occident où ses qualités littéraires lui assurent un très large succès populaire.

En octobre 1958, l’attribution du prix Nobel de littérature suscite la fureur des autorités soviétiques qui ont tout fait pour empêcher sa publication.

« La publication du Docteur Jivago en 1957, en Italie, après qu’elle a été rejetée par les éditeurs soviétiques, est un évènement à portée mondiale, le défi involontaire d’un homme seul face à un système totalitaire. Ce n’est qu’en 1987, à la faveur de la perestroïka, que l’Union des écrivains réhabilitera la mémoire de Pasternak en annulant son exclusion et que le Docteur Jivago pourra enfin atteindre sans entraves les lecteurs russes » (Dictionnaire des Auteurs).

« Doctor Zhivago has become perhaps the most celebrated Russian novel of the twentieth century. Because it was published in the West, it was viewed by the Soviet authorities as providing ideological ammunition to the Western foe and as an anti-Soviet work. » (D. C. Gillepsie).

Exemplaire conservé dans sa couverture et sa jaquette d’éditeur, tel que paru.

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