Doctor Zhivago, the masterpiece that won Boris Pasternak the Nobel Prize in 1958, had its first worldwide edition in 1957 in Italian. The events surrounding its publication, whose protagonists were Boris Pasternak and the publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, undoubdtedly count as one of the most fascinating stories of the twentieth century. It is a story that saw the involvement of governments, political parties, secret services, and publishers.
In Inside the Zhivago Storm. The Editorial Adventures of Pasternak’s Masterpiece, Paolo Mancosu, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, provides a riveting account of the story of the first publication of Doctor Zhivago and of the subsequent Russian editions in the West.
Exploiting with scholarly and philological rigor the untapped resources of the Feltrinelli archives in Milan as well as several other private and public archives in Europe, Russia, and the USA, Mancosu reconstructs the relationship between Pasternak and Feltrinelli, the story of the Italian publication, and the pressure exercised on Feltrinelli by the Soviets and the Italian Communist Party to stop publication of the novel in Italy and in other countries. Situating the story in the historical context of the Cold War, Mancosu describes the hidden roles of the KGB and the CIA in the vicissitudes of the publication of the novel both in Italian and in the original Russian language. The full correspondence between Boris Pasternak and Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (spanning from 1956 to 1960) is also published here for the first time in the original and in English translation.
Doctor Zhivago is a classic of world literature and the story of its publication, as it is recounted in this book, is the story of the courage and of the intellectual freedom of a great writer and of a great publisher.
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PAOLO MANCOSU is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of numerous articles and books in logic and philosophy of mathematics. He is also the author of Inside the Zhivago Storm. The editorial adventures of Pasternak’s masterpiece (Feltrinelli, Milan, 2013). The book has been praised in The New York Review of Books as “a tour de force of literary detection worthy of a scholarly Sherlock Holmes”. During his career, Mancosu has taught at Stanford, Oxford, and Yale. He has been a fellow of the Humboldt Stiftung, of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and of the Institut d’Études Avancées in Paris. In spring 2014, he was a visiting professor at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy and a LMU-UCB Research in the Humanities fellow.