Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Primarily a lyric poet, Boris Pasternak also wrote epic poems upon revolutionary themes and translated English and German classics into Russian. Besides several pieces of short fiction, he wrote two prose autobiographies and an unfinished play, Slepaya Krasavitsa (1969; The Blind Beauty, 1969), intended as a nineteenth century prologue to his single novel, Doktor Zhivago (1957; Doctor Zhivago, 1958), the first major Russian work to be published only outside the Soviet Union. Pasternak won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958, but Soviet governmental pressure forced him to refuse it. His lyric “The Nobel Prize” describes him “caught like a beast at bay” in his homeland.