The Cia Scheme That Brought Doctor Zhivago To The World

Rebecca Renner in Literary Hub:

In 1956, Sergio D’Angelo made a journey by train from Moscow southwest to the Soviet-made writers’ colony Peredelkino. He was there to meet the rock-star famous writer Boris Pasternak, whose poetry was so beloved that, if he paused during a reading, audiences would shout the missing words. But Pasternak’s original work hadn’t seen daylight in years; the Soviet government didn’t possess quite the same warm feeling toward Pasternak as his fans, doubting his loyalty to the Communist Party, which controlled the publishing industry. He’d been translating classic works of literature, such as Shakespeare’s plays, into Russian instead since the 1940s.

D’Angelo hadn’t ventured from the city to pay homage, though—he had a proposition for Pasternak. When he arrived at Pasternak’s dacha, a brown two-story house nestled among green birches and fir trees, D’Angelo found Pasternak waiting for him at the garden gate. Pasternak was 66 years old but still spry. He was dressed comfortably to work in his garden, including a pair of Wellington boots. From Pasternak’s bright smile and enthusiastic handshake, D’Angelo could see it was a joy for him to receive visitors, especially ones from outside the Soviet Union who brought news of the world.

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