Topic: Boris Pasternak

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Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (Russian: Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к) (10 February 1890 – 30 May 1960) was a Nobel Prize-winning Russian poet and writer. In the West he is best known for his epic novel Doctor Zhivago, a tragedy whose events span the last period of Tsarist Russia and the early days of the Soviet Union. It was first translated and published in Italy in 1957. In Russia, however, Boris Pasternak is most celebrated as a poet. My Sister Life, written in 1917, is arguably the most influential collection of poetry published in the Russian language in the 20th century. "Boris Pasternak considered by many the greatest Russian poet of the 20th century, who helped give birth to the dissident movement with the publication of his 'Doctor Zhivago'."

Pasternak was born in Moscow on 10 February, (Julian), 1890 (Gregorian 29 January) into a wealthy Jewish family. His father was a prominent painter, Leonid Pasternak, professor at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, and his mother was Rosa (Raitza) Kaufman, a concert pianist. Pasternak was brought up in a highly cosmopolitan atmosphere, and visitors to his home included pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and writer Leo Tolstoy.

Inspired by his neighbour Alexander Scriabin, Pasternak resolved to become a composer and entered the Moscow Conservatory. In 1910 he abruptly left the conservatory for the University of Marburg, where he studied under Neo-Kantian philosophers Hermann Cohen and Nicolai Hartmann. Although invited to become a scholar, he decided against making philosophy a profession and returned to Moscow in 1914. His first poetry collection, influenced by Alexander Blok and the Russian Futurists, was published later the same year.

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