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Soviets Plan 1st Publication of 'Doctor Zhivago'

February 13, 1987|WILLIAM J. EATON | Times Staff Writer

MOSCOW — The first publication of Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Zhivago" in the Soviet Union is planned for next year, a Soviet editor announced Thursday.

The announcement, at a meeting of a commission set up by the Soviet Writers' Union to honor Pasternak, was the latest step in the official rehabilitation of the poet and novelist who died in 1960. Pasternak fell into disfavor with Soviet authorities in 1958 when "Doctor Zhivago" brought him the Nobel Prize for Literature, which he was not allowed to accept.

Sergei Zalygin, the new editor-in-chief of Novy Mir, the monthly literary review, announced that he intends to publish the novel next year in three or four installments.

Novy Mir was widely known in the 1960s as a pioneering magazine that published controversial material. Among other things, it published articles by Alexander Solzhenitsyn on conditions in prison camps of the Stalin era.

1st Commission Meeting

According to Tass, the official Soviet news agency, the 15-member commission set up to preserve Pasternak's literary legacy held its first meeting Thursday to discuss plans for observing the centenary of Pasternak's birth, in 1890.

The commission decided, Tass said, to place memorial plaques on the building where he was born and on his dacha (country home) in the village of Peredelkino, outside Moscow, where he did most of his writing.

A Moscow publishing firm issued a two-volume set of Pasternak's poetry in 1985, including some poems from "Doctor Zhivago," but the novel itself remained unpublished here.

The commission is headed by poet Andrei Voznesensky and includes such other well-known Soviet authors as Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Vasil Bykov and Bella Akhamadulina.

The late Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev said in his memoirs that he endorsed the decision not to publish "Doctor Zhivago" on the grounds that it presented a false picture of conditions in the Soviet Union.

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