You are welcome to answer any of the questions!
In 2017 we celebrate the centenary of Boris Pasternak’s poetry collection ‘My sister life’, so…..
Have you ever read any of Boris Pasternak’s poems?
What do they feel like in your language? E.g. fresh, dusty, too complicated, simplistic, nothing special etc.? Please comment on any aspects.
What do you think might be lost in translation?
Would you like to read closely any of his poems together with us? For example, by Skype, because we would be happy to hear how it sounds in your language? Alternatively, you could record your reading of a poem and send it to us with your comments.
Have you ever used any of Pasternak’s poems in your teaching? Can you explain your choice? Can you tell us something about your experience?
Would you consider using any of his poems in your teaching?
In Russia this novel is still very important to anyone wanting to remember the lessons of the 20th century. We decided to ask people around the world what they are feeling about it because 2017 is another ‘year of Doctor Zhivago’: it was first published in November 1957 in Italy, in Italian language. Over the next 2 years it was translated into 28 languages.
Have you read Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago (1955)? When and in which language did you read it? A few words about your impression?
Have you seen David Lean’s film (1965) or Giacomo Campiotti’s TV miniseries (2002) of the same title? A few words about your impression?
If you can compare, which did you prefer? Why?
Your appreciation of the book
There is still no consensus among either critics or readers on ‘what Doctor Zhivago is about’: whether it should be read / seen as a love story, a philosophic story, a political statement… or maybe just as a longish introduction to Jury Zhivago’s poems? Which aspect of the novel / film is more important to you?
Do you have a favourite character? A favourite minor character?
Can you think of the most memorable episode?
Does Doctor Zhivago remind you of any other novel written in the 20th century in other languages? In which aspects?
Do you feel Doctor Zhivago is still worth reading / watching? Why?
Would you use extracts from the book / film with your students?
Reading the text
Talking about the text of the novel, what do you think might have been lost in translation?
Would you like to read closely an extract of your or our choice together with us? For example, by Skype?
Would you like to record for us your reading of an extract from the novel in English or your language and send it to us with your comments?
Would you consider using an extract from this novel with your students?
The story around the book
Arguably, the publication, distribution and appreciation of Doctor Zhivago proved to be a crucial episode in the history of the Cold War.
Do you know anything or would like to find out about this? Do you think it would be useful for your students, too?
The Nobel Prize
What is your personal attitude or an attitude accepted in your culture towards the Nobel Prize in literature?
Do you think Pasternak deserved the Nobel Prize in literature (1958), which for the world’s readership was associated mainly with Doctor Zhivago?
Can you think about any other disputed titles that won the Nobel Prize?
Has your impression about the film / novel been affected by anybody’s opinion?
Have you read any criticism either about the novel or the film / series? Did you find it useful? Why? Could you tell us about a review / piece of criticism which you found useful?
Any other suggestions, comments etc. are welcome!