Le voyage secret du docteur Jivago

I spent the academic year 2021-2022 in Paris as Chaire d’Excellence Internationale Blaise Pascal. While my major research project was on the history and philosophy of mathematical infinity, I still found time to pursue my work on Doctor Zhivago. It just so happened that one of the other Chaire Pascal (four in total for the year) was Leonid Livak who arranged for me to give a talk on my work on Doctor Zhivago on November 17, 2021 (“Zhivago’s Secret Journey: from typescript to book”; Université Paris-Sorbonne, Eur’ORBEM). Meanwhile, the Russian translation of my Zhivago’s Secret Journey came out in November 2021 and copies reached me in Paris in February 2022. The book was published by Azbukovnik. It was translated by Paul Borokhov under the editorial revision of Lazar Fleishman and Elena Vladimirovna Pasternak. A presentation of the book (with the participation of myself and Lazar Fleishman) took place in Moscow on December 5, 2021. The event can be seen here. In November 2021 I was also asked to participate in the program Atlantide directed by Andrea Purgatori for the Italian TV channel La7 in connection to the presentation of the book by Ezio Mauro “Lo scrittore senza nome: Mosca 1966: processo alla letteratura” (Feltrinelli 2021). The program can be seen here. My contribution starts around the 18th minute of the program.

During the year, I was lucky to have been welcome once again to the Maison Suger for my stay in Paris. I had spent shorter and longer periods at the Maison Suger since the early 2000 and I knew the director, Jean-Luc Lory, but only at a distance. However, this year something special happened. I mentioned my work on Doctor Zhivago and Jean-Luc  got excited about it. He generously suggested to the director of the Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Pascal Rouleau, that we should organize something. This led to a meeting on Pasternak and Doctor Zhivago at the Maison Suger that I organized on February 28, 2022, with talks by Georges Nivat, Luba Jurgenson and myself. Maurice Aymard introduced the meeting and acted as “modérateur”. You can listen to the three talks here.

In addition, we prepared a translation of a volume which I put together combining parts of my books “Inside the Zhivago Storm” (Feltrinelli 2013) and “Zhivago’s Secret Journey” (Hoover Press, 2016). A video interview with the author on the project, dated June 10, 2022, is found here.

These efforts resulted in the book “Le Voyage Secret du Docteur Jivago. Le Roman du Roman” which came out on November 17, 2022. Taking advantage of my return to Paris in December for closing the activities of the Chaire Pascal, the volume was presented at the Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme on December 20.

The format was that of a conversation between Paolo Mancosu and Marjorie Bertin, a journalist at Radio France Internationale (rfi). After the conversation, there was an opportunity for the public to ask some questions and the event was followed by a convivial reception. As soon as the video of the event becomes available I will update this post by providing a link.

I would like to thank Jean-Luc Lory, Pascal Rouleau, Laura Olbert and Charlotte Solnitzki for their invaluable role in the production of the book. And Marjorie Bertin for her pleasant and insightful style during the interview.