Biography Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak

photo of Boris Pasternak
  • Time Period1890 - 1960
  • PlaceMoscow
  • CountryRussia

Poet Biography

Russian novelist and poet Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was born in Moscow, into a upper-class Jewish family of artists. His father, Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, held a position as professor at the Moscow School of Painting, and his mother, Rosa Kaufman, was an acclaimed concert pianist. Artists and poets frequented his home in Moscow, including Ranier Maria Rilke, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Aleksandr Scriabin, and Leo Tolstoy. Pasternak studied music at the Moscow Conservatory, but at age twenty he gave up this ambition and went to Germany to become a student of philosophy in the Marburg University. Rturning to Moscow in late 1913, he published his first collection of poetry, entitled Bliznets V Tuchakh. When World War 1 arrived, he went to the Ural Mountains to work as a tutor and in a chemical factory. He was unfit for army service owing to a leg injury. His stay in the Ural Mountains would later supply the inspiration for DOKTOR ZHIVAGO. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Pasternak worked as a libranian. Within five years, he had published two more books of poetry. Boris Pasternak married twice, and had one son from his first wife. After this, he began to write more of the Revolution, both in prose and poetry. He earned a living by translating Shakespeare, Gothe, and others. Pasternak's works were not appreciated by the Russian authority, based on his asthetic views, and many of his books were not printed by the government. His famous novel, DOKTOR ZHIVAGO, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1958.