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Doctor Zhivago [Signed]
London: Collins Harvill, 1958. First UK edition. Hardcover. Near Fine/near fine. A Near Fine copy of the first UK Edition, first printing (lower right corner to front board bumped, some very light surface marking to the boards seen when held at an angle to the light, small Johannesburg bookshop label to lower front pastedown), in a Near Fine dust jacket (tiny surface scrape to lower portion of the front panel, some pushing and tiny rubs to the spine ends, two tiny tears to the rear panel's bottom edge, small rub and tiny tear where rear panel joins the spine tail, short tear to upper right of rear panel near to the spine and a crease line moving leftward with a tiny closed tear at the crease line terminus), SIGNED BY BORIS PASTERNAK on a short note tipped to the front free endpaper and reading as follows: "With my sincerest greetings and / best wishes of happiness / and health for _ / William Harris / I sign this leaflet / August 10, 1959 / B Pasternak / Peredelkino near Moscow"-- such date being one year after the August 1958 first publication of the novel in English translation and approximately eight months prior to Pasternak's death on May 30, 1960. Peredelkino is a dacha complex southwest of Moscow noted for its literary residents and is the place where Boris Pasternak both had his home and is buried. Given the date and placement of the note, it appears that Harris was visiting Pasternak at his home. [It was in Peredelkino that Issak Babel was arrested as part of Stalin's Great Purge and from which he was taken to be executed. It is said by some that, during the Great Purge, Stalin personally crossed Pasternak's name off an execution list.] "Doctor Zhivago", the work for which Pasternak is best-known in the West was banned from being published in Russia as anti-Soviet and was smuggled to Milan for publication there in 1957. Boris Pasternak won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition" an award which greatly angered the Soviet authorities. [Indeed, Pasternak expected Doctor Zhivago's publication to put him at great risk and, when handing over the manuscript for publication, stated: "You are hereby invited to watch me face the firing squad."] Pasternak initially determined to accept the Prize, but was told by the Soviet government that if he traveled to Stockholm to accept the award he would be refused re-entry to the Soviet Union. In consequence, Pasternak renounced the Prize. The Nobel Committee, however, stood by its decision and elected merely not to hold the presentation ceremony. Doctor Zhivago provided the basis for the enduringly-popular 1965 film of the same name starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. Items signed by Boris Pasternak are exceptionally difficult to find on the market. A Near Fine copy of Boris Pasternak's important and best-known work, SIGNED BY BORIS PASTERNAK on a tipped-in note written in the anniversary month of the novel's first publication in English. QUITE SCARCE INDEED.
      [Bookseller: Allington Antiquarian Books, LLC]
Last Found On: 2013-11-29           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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