The Hunt for the Seventh Typescript

In Zhivago’s Secret Journey: from typescript to book (Hoover Press, 2016), I analyzed the typescripts of Doctor Zhivago that Pasternak sent outside the USSR and studied the role they played in the publishing history of Doctor Zhivago. The book discusses in detail six typescripts that arrived to the West and I showed that the source of the first Russian edition of Doctor Zhivago, the so-called Mouton edition – a pirated edition covertly organized by the CIA – was one of two identical typescripts that arrived in Oxford. One of the typescripts was owned by Pasternak’s sisters (it was sent to them through Isaiah Berlin) and the other was the property of George Katkov. One important consequence of this result, which rests on a philological comparative analysis of the relation between the Mouton text and the six typescripts, was that the Feltrinelli typescript, contrary to what had been assumed by most scholars, was not the one that was microfilmed for the CIA. And that is sufficient to eliminate the various cloak and dagger accounts of how the Feltrinelli typescript was intercepted by various intelligence agencies and was reproduced for the CIA. In my book, I was careful to qualify my claims by allowing for the possibility that more than six typescripts might have left the USSR. In particular, in a footnote on p. 138, I mentioned some intriguing evidence about the possibility that a typescript might have reached the USA already in October 1957. Further work on this topic led me to show that there was indeed a typescript that reached the USA by October 1957.

Across Borders, 2018

In a recent article titled “The hunt for the seventh typescript” I have been able to show that Henry Carlisle and Rinehart & Co. in New York had available a typescript of Doctor Zhivago in October 1957. In the article, I reconstruct the story of how the typescript made its way from Peredelkino to the United States – it was brought there by Vladimir Bronislavovich Sossinsky –  but I also argue that this typescript played no role in the publication history of Doctor Zhivago. Thus, all the key claims made in my book are unaffected by this further research, which however completes the picture of the history of the typescripts that were sent by Pasternak outside the Soviet Union. The article appeared in Across Borders: 20th Century Russian Literature and Russian-Jewish Cultural Contacts. Essays in honor of Vladimir Khazan.  Edited by Lazar Fleishman and Fedor Poljakov (Stanford Slavic Studies. Vol. 48), Peter Lang Verlag, Berlin etc., 2018, pp. 587-623.

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