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Monday, 29 January , 2007 / ermes

Tecnica della liberazione


La lotta per l’emancipazione dell’individuo, emancipazione morale, fisica, intellettuale, sessuale, politica, religiosa, economica, sociale, filosofica, spirituale, estetica, registra momenti di svolta decisivi, pietre miliari indimenticabili e commoventi. Capita talvolta che in una notte fonda e fredda, sorga d’un subito momento inaspettata favella a rischiarare e irridere il nerume, a consentir di dar misura del buio pesto, larghezza del dolore, contezza dell’attesa. Così fu, tra le altre, per le parole di Pasternak. Se Comunità della e delle democrazie mai sarà, mai si avrà, della rete internet dovrà necessariamente rendersi specchio e articolazione.

prima_edizione_zivago_1957_1100_lire.jpgThe Sunday Times – January 14, 2007

How the CIA won Zhivago a Nobel

by Mark Franchetti, Moscow

Nearly 50 years after Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel prize for a body of work culminating in the epic Doctor Zhivago, it has emerged that British intelligence and the CIA secretly facilitated the accolade to embarrass the Kremlin, which had banned the novel.

A new book reveals that American agents led an operation to publish a Russian-language version of Doctor Zhivago to comply with Nobel rules requiring that works be considered in their original language.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that the CIA played a key role in ensuring Pasternak received the Nobel prize,” said the book’s author, Ivan Tolstoy, a respected Moscow researcher.

Immortalised by David Lean’s film, which won five Oscars, Doctor Zhivago was first published in Milan in 1957. It tells the tragic story of a doctor poet, Yuri Zhivago, and the love of his life, Lara, against the backdrop of the Bolshevik revolution. It was banned in the Soviet Union until 1987.

Pasternak sent several copies of the manuscript in Russian to friends in the West. Tolstoy has now discovered a letter from a former CIA agent describing the operation that followed. He says the CIA — aided by the British — stole a copy from a plane that was forced to land in Malta.

While passengers waited for two hours, agents took the manuscript from a suitcase, photographed it and returned it. The CIA then published the Russian edition in Europe and America simultaneously.

“They avoided using paper which could be identified as Western-made. They chose special fonts commonly used in Russia and printed chapters in separate locations to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands,” said Tolstoy, who is hoping to see his book, The Laundered Novel, published in the West.

pasternak_15_dec_1958_time.jpgMembers of the Swedish Academy were surprised to be presented with copies of a Russian edition just in time for them to consider Pasternak for the 1958 prize. Two days after hearing that he had won, the writer sent a telegram to the Academy: “Immensely thankful, touched, proud, astonished, abashed.”

Four days later, under intense Kremlin pressure, Pasternak sent a second telegram: “I must reject this undeserved prize which has been presented to me. Please do not receive my voluntary rejection with displeasure.”

Pasternak was harassed by the KGB and threatened with expulsion from Russia. After his death in 1960, the Kremlin ordered the arrest of Olga Ivinskaya, his mistress and the inspiration for Lara.

Ivinskaya and her daughter were charged with receiving “illegal” royalties from the publication of Doctor Zhivago abroad. Ivinskaya was sentenced to eight years’ hard labour in Siberia, her daughter to three. An international uproar led to Ivinskaya’s release four years early.

“My father played no role in the publication of a Russian edition, nor had he any idea of the CIA’s interest,” said Yevgeny Pasternak, who accepted the Nobel prize on his father’s behalf in 1989.

“My father never expected to receive the prize. Sadly it brought him a lot of sorrow and suffering.”

3 Comments

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  1. ermes / Jan 29 2007 12:05 PM

    “La verità è che per tutti gli anni Trenta Herr Ribbentrop fu una figura che godette di una buona reputazione, che esercitò il proprio fascino addirittura, presso le case più prestigiose. Ricordo in particolar modo nel 1936 e 1937, il gran parlare che aveva luogo nella stanza della servitù, da parte di domestici in visita, il cui oggetto era l’«ambasciatore tedesco»; ed era chiaro, da quanto veniva detto, che molti fra i più illustri gentiluomini e signore, in questo paese, erano assolutamente innamorati di lui.
    (…) è seccante dover stare a sentire in che modo quelle stesse persone oggi parlano di quell’epoca
    “(…) E non credo che sarebbero altrettanto pronti a parlare se, ad esempio, il «Times» dovesse pubblicare anche una soltanto delle liste dei partecipanti ai banchetti offerti dai tedeschi all’epoca del rally di Norimberga. Il fatto è che le più note e rispettate signore, nonché i gentiluomini d’Inghilterra si avvalevano dell’ospitalità offerta loro dai capi tedeschi, ed io sono in grado di testimoniare in prima persona che costoro non esprimevano altro che lodi e ammirazione nei confronti dei loro anfitrioni.”

    Kazuo Ishiguro, Quel che resta del giorno, Torino: Einaudi, 1994 – pag.167

  2. ermes / May 8 2007 5:37 PM

    From The Economist on line edition – May 8th 2007:

    Military speding

  3. Eva Muov / Nov 1 2011 11:56 PM

    “Nei giorni che seguirono la sua estromissione da capo della divisione Mac, ma prima che andasse via, lavorò come ambasciatore per la Apple in giro per il mondo; Bush Sr., allora VP, lo spinse a curare le vendite degli Apple II in Unione Sovietica per fomentare la rivoluzione dal basso (dettaglio da sapere: siamo nel 1985 e il Mac iniziò la rivoluzione del DTP, con il supporto delle prime stampanti laser e dopo qualche anno, della Quark con il suo Xpress; Bush Sr. capì che in quel modo era facile stampare giornali clandestini. Chapeau!)”

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