Inside the Zhivago Storm: The Editorial Adventures of Pasternak’s Masterpiece

Paolo Mancosu
Berkeley Book Chats
Book Cover for Inside the Zhivago Storm by Paolo Mancosu
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 | 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall
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United States

Professor of Philosophy Paolo Mancosu specializes in logic and philosophy of mathematics. He recently pursued a very different project in his latest book, Inside the Zhivago Storm: The Editorial Adventures of Pasternak’s Masterpiece (Feltrinelli, 2013), offering an account of the story of the first publication of Doctor Zhivago and of the subsequent Russian editions in the West.

Exploiting previously untapped archival sources of the Feltrinelli archives in Milan and other private and public archives in Europe, Russia, and the United States, Mancosu reconstructs the relationship between Pasternak and Feltrinelli, the story of the Italian publication, and the pressure exercised on Feltrinelli by the Soviets and the Italian Communist Party to stop publication of the novel in Italy and other countries. Situating the story in the historical context of the Cold War, Mancosu describes the roles of the KGB and the CIA in the vicissitudes of the publication of the novel both in Italian and Russian. A fascinating picture of censorship and freedom emerges against the background of ideological commitment, divided loyalties, betrayed expectations, and intellectual courage.

After an introduction by Irina Paperno (Slavic Languages & Literature), Mancosu will outline the contents of his book and then open the floor for discussion.