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Soviet Writers Unit to Study Pasternak; Future Publication of 'Zhivago' Hinted

January 08, 1987|From Times Wire Services

MOSCOW — The Soviet Writers Council has set up a commission to study the works of Boris Pasternak, bringing the possibility of the publication of "Doctor Zhivago" in the Soviet Union a step closer, the official Tass news agency announced.

Pasternak's epic novel, which depicts in cold characterizations the human cost of the Bolshevik Revolution, has never been published in the Soviet Union. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, but he was forced to reject the prize.

Tass announced Tuesday that poet Andrei Voznesensky will head a commission established by the Writers Council to study Pasternak's literary heritage.

Voznesensky was one of 40 Soviet writers who signed a petition last summer calling on Soviet authorities to publish "Doctor Zhivago" and give proper recognition to Pasternak, who died in 1960 in official disgrace.

"The commission represents an important step in the recognition of Pasternak as the greatest literary figure in this country in the 20th century," Voznesensky said in an interview with the Washington Post.

The 15-person commission of Soviet artistic and cultural figures that he heads will oversee the publication of "Doctor Zhivago" and the opening of a museum devoted to Pasternak in his former home in the the Moscow suburb of Peredelkino, according to Voznesensky.

"It will also serve as a living memorial to Pasternak's name and his contributions to the literature of this country," he said.

In a dispatch about the new Pasternak commission, state-controlled radio also reported for the first time here that Pasternak had won the Nobel Literature Prize.

Plans to publish "Doctor Zhivago," should be set in motion immediately, and the first official Soviet edition should be out "within a year," Voznesensky said.

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