ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Bloodthirsty Stupidity.

Editorial from Volume X, No's 45 and 46,November 8, 1958.

... If the author of doctor Zhivago had written a political tract denouncing the foundation on which the Soviet society is built, he would have done so with all the risks and perils of his venture fully in mind, and would presumably have been prepared to face the consequences of his action. That, however, is not what he has done. He has set down in the form of fiction the reality he found staring him in the eye...

Naturally, it is not to be assumed that the novelist did not recognise the bias of his story. But it is in the distortion of this bias through excessive exaggeration that the fact of the unfairness to him consists. And it is here that his allegedly Western champions have served him ill. The widest quoted passages from the book are confined to three pages in a volume of 700. If these had been left in their context and t heir pr op er, minor p er s p ec t ive, t he s t or m would not have blown up the top of the kettle. But the West, in seeking to make Pasternak a hero, has ended by making him a martyr...

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