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Vatican newspaper pays tribute to Boris Pasternak

August 19, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), the Russian novelist and poet best known for Doctor Zhivago.

“The fundamental spirit of my experiences or attempts is a conception of art, a creation and inspiration understood as sacrifice or self-abnegation, in a remote and humble similarity to the Last Supper and the Eucharist,” Pasternak said in a letter quoted by the Vatican newspaper. “In fact, the representative expression of our culture, the heroes and protagonists of European history are in some way an imitation of Jesus Christ, or they are closely linked and the Gospel is the foundation of that which we call the kingdom of literature and realism.”

The newspaper’s tribute, written by Pasternak’s son, also discussed the correspondence between the Nobel laureate and Thomas Merton.


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