I am delighted to announce the publication of “Moscow Has Ears Everywhere. New Investigations on Pasternak and Ivinskaya” (Hoover Press, Stanford, 2019). What follows is the description from the flaps of the book and the advance praise for the book signed by three eminent specialists of Slavic Studies.
The struggle between the Soviet Communist Party and Boris
Pasternak over the publication of Doctor
Zhivago did not end when he won the Nobel Prize, or even with his
death. After the prize the Soviets vilified and impoverished him. After his
death, they turned against Olga Ivinskaya, his literary assistant, companion,
and the model for Zhivago’s Lara, sending her and her daughter to a
labor camp for accepting Pasternak’s royalties from the West.
In Moscow Has Ears Everywhere, Mancosu provides the first examination of what happened after the scandal that followed the award of the Nobel Prize to Pasternak in October 1958.
Pasternak had said he would not accept the royalties for his work. However, when exclusion from the Soviet Writers’ Union left him with no other source of income, he reconnected with Sergio d’Angelo, the scout for the Feltrinelli publishing house in Milan, the first to publish Zhivago in the West. Mancosu also describes how d’Angelo became part of a campaign to smuggle money to Pasternak.
After the poet died, Ivinskaya received some of those funds. Mancosu shows that the KGB intercepted Pasternak’s “will,” a document that transferred Pasternak’s royalties to his longtime companion. The Soviets then arrested Ivinskaya and her daughter, Irina Emelianova, and sent them to a labor camp.
Finally, Mancosu provides new evidence showing that Western literary figures used a campaign of clandestine persuasion rather than confrontation in an attempt to win the women’s release. Mancosu’s new book—the first to explore the post–Nobel history of Pasternak and Ivinskaya—provides extraordinary detail on these events, in a thrilling account that involves KGB interceptions, fabricated documents, smugglers, and much more. Scholars will relish the rich assemblage of new archival material, especially letters of Pasternak, Ivinskaya, Feltrinelli, and d’Angelo from the Hoover Institution Library and Archives and the Feltrinelli Archives in Milan. But Moscow Has Ears Everywhere speaks to everyone who has read the story of Zhivago and his Lara. In many respects, this is its final chapter.
Below are the advance praises for the book signed by three eminent specialists of Slavic Studies.
Paolo Mancosu’s richly documented and profoundly moving account of
some of the most dramatic episodes in the cultural life of the Cold War
period is a major contribution to Pasternak scholarship and Russian
—Lazar Fleishman, Stanford University
Paolo Mancosu’s new book is a treat for the specialist and the general
reader. Mancosu has unearthed an enormous amount of new documentary
evidence that sheds a completely new light on a story we thought
we knew well: Pasternak’s persecution following the Nobel Prize award,
the arrests of Olga Ivinskaya and Irina Emelianova, and their subsequent
release. Mancosu unveils the surprising twists of the story and weaves a
rich tapestry describing the political, literary, and private relations among
the protagonists. Most important, he gives us insights into their inner
lives—the lives of outstanding and ordinary people enmeshed in the cruel
hostility of the Cold War. It is a splendid achievement.
—Anna Sergeeva-Klyatis, Moscow State University
Professor Mancosu’s book investigates the post–Nobel Prize events in
Pasternak’s life and the repercussions of his confrontation with Soviet
power on his beloved Olga Ivinskaya and her daughter Irina Emelianova.
It represents a quantum leap in our understanding of those events, both on
account of the impressive number of unknown archival sources Mancosu
brought to light as well as for the thorough and careful interpretation of
those tragic events. Mancosu’s first-rate
study is a must read for anyone
interested in the relationship between literature and politics during the
—Fedor Poljakov, University of Vienna