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The novel about the novel



The novel about the novel

Pasternak, Feltrinelli and the publication of Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago, the masterpiece that won Boris Pasternak the Nobel Prize in 1958, had its first worldwide edition in 1957 in Italian. In a letter to Kurt Wolff, Pasternak described the events surrounding the publication of Doctor Zhivago as "the novel about the novel". The main protagonists of this novel about the novel were Boris Pasternak and the publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli but the cast of characters included, among others, governments, political parties, secret services, and publishers. Exploiting previously untapped archival sources, Paolo Mancosu will discuss 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 the publication of the novel in Italy and in other countries. In addition, he will describe 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. What emerges is a fascinating picture in which general issues of censorship and freedom gain their full complexity by being seen against the background of ideological commitment, divided loyalties, betrayed expectations, and intellectual courage. "A tour de force of literary detection worthy of a scholarly Sherlock Holmes" (The New York Review of Books) "A scholarly, scrupulously even-handed work" (London Review of Books) "Mancosu’s book, Inside the Zhivago Storm, performs a splendid service by excavating the Milan–Moscow base to the international structure of the affair. The richness of fresh documentation in both Italian and Russian is the product of exhaustive scholarship". (The Times Literary Supplement) 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. To register for this event, please click here.


Date: Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Entrance : Free