Steven’s review of Doctor Zhivago > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Sigh.


message 2: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Julie wrote: "Sigh."

Now now Julie, try to remain calm. Remember, nice deep breaths.


message 3: by Gabrielle (new)

Gabrielle That's the translation I have at home... Must speed-track! Awesome review, Steven :)


message 4: by Julie (last edited May 16, 2018 05:32AM) (new)

Julie Steven,
This is one of your best reviews, if not your best review ever. You were precise and descriptive and I could feel just the right amount of awe seeping through. You are so right, this is a long and complicated novel (the names, the names!), and any of us would probably need to read it 5-10 times to really feel we had “landed” on its true meaning. I feel like trying to explain my feelings about this book is similar to trying to explain to someone at breakfast a dream I had in the middle of the night. It’s nearly impossible to get it right.


message 5: by Agnieszka (new)

Agnieszka Great and insightful review, Steven. Enjoyed reading your thoughts immensly and am grateful for possibility to revisit this novel through your words. I read it so long ago and unfortunately wasn't that impressed. So perhaps it's time for reread? I very much hope.


message 6: by Julie (new)

Julie Agnieszka,
To be honest, I read it for the first time in my late 30s, and I remember thinking, at the time, that I was still too young to properly grasp this book! Maybe it's just the elusive quality of the book, rather than the age of the reader. I think this one deserves several attempts.


message 7: by Agnieszka (last edited May 16, 2018 06:03AM) (new)

Agnieszka Julie wrote: "Agnieszka,
To be honest, I read it for the first time in my late 30s, and I remember thinking, at the time, that I was still too young to properly grasp this book! Maybe it's just the elusive quali..."


Probably you’re right, Julie. Some books resonate with us from the very first sentence while others slowly grow on us with time. I think I was about twenty or something when I read it and do not know if it was a factor that I couldn’t grasp all its complexity. I’ve just read your appraisal and was reminded instantly how I felt confused at times either. Hopefully will find some time to reread it soon.


message 8: by Steven (last edited May 16, 2018 07:02AM) (new)

Steven Godin Gabrielle wrote: "That's the translation I have at home... Must speed-track! Awesome review, Steven :)"

That's good to hear Gabrielle. Look forward to your thoughts,
whenever that may be.


message 9: by Annie (new)

Annie i also really like pevear & volokhonsky's tolstoy translations, they're a v good team. didn't realize they'd translated this one too-- when i get around to reading this one, i'll have to keep my eye out for theirs


message 10: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Julie wrote: "Steven,
This is one of your best reviews, if not your best review ever. You were precise and descriptive and I could feel just the right amount of awe seeping through. You are so right, this is a ..."


Much appreciated Julie. never has a book left me so awestruck.
Even though, like you said, it's impossible to get a feel for everything the first time around.


message 11: by Katia (new)

Katia N "Once Pasternak reaches the revolutionary period, the novel becomes a kind of spiritual biography, still rich in social references but primarily the record of a mind struggling for survival." - It is so true. You totally reflected the spirit of this novel for me. And I've read it in Russian. Wonderful review!

Ps
How do you find the translation of the poems? Pasternak works so much with the rhyming and the music of the language, that i guess it would be very difficult to translate.


message 12: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Agnieszka wrote: "Great and insightful review, Steven. Enjoyed reading your thoughts immensly and am grateful for possibility to revisit this novel through your words. I read it so long ago and unfortunately wasn't ..."

That's understandable Agnieszka, for some I can imagine it's just a struggle from the off. I believe only a Russian native can truly accept it for what it is on first reading, but I think age is also a factor. Had I attempted to read this 20 years ago, no doubts I would have never got through it.


message 13: by Sabine (new)

Sabine Excellent review!, it's added to my wish-list.


message 14: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Sabine wrote: "Excellent review!, it's added to my wish-list."

Thanks, it's a worthy addition to any bookshelf.


message 15: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Annie wrote: "i also really like pevear & volokhonsky's tolstoy translations, they're a v good team. didn't realize they'd translated this one too-- when i get around to reading this one, i'll have to keep my ey..."

Didn't realise they also translated Tolstoy. Definitely a pairing I will look out for again in the future.


message 16: by Steven (last edited May 16, 2018 08:44AM) (new)

Steven Godin Katia wrote: ""Once Pasternak reaches the revolutionary period, the novel becomes a kind of spiritual biography, still rich in social references but primarily the record of a mind struggling for survival." - It ..."

Wish I was a Russian for the day, the poems I admit were problematic, but they still resonate well with the novel in some way.


message 17: by Jason (new)

Jason Wonderfully written review, Steven. Very much a tragic love story on both large and intimate scale, your review brings me back to my reading of this same translation, and I too know that I will need to make a second pass before long.


message 18: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Jason wrote: "Wonderfully written review, Steven. Very much a tragic love story on both large and intimate scale, your review brings me back to my reading of this same translation, and I too know that I will nee..."

Thanks Jason. Hope it works out even better second time around.


message 19: by Alice (new)

Alice Great review Steven. Vivid memories take me back to my time spent in the company of Zhivago. And all that snow!


message 20: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Alice wrote: "Great review Steven. Vivid memories take me back to my time spent in the company of Zhivago. And all that snow!"

I am still recovering from frostbite.


message 21: by Tim (new)

Tim Fantastic review, Steven.


message 22: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Tim wrote: "Fantastic review, Steven."

Thanks a lot Tim!


message 23: by Asha (new)

Asha Seth Beautifully reviewed.


message 24: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Asha wrote: "Beautifully reviewed."

Thanks, Asha


message 25: by Violet (new)

Violet wells Fabulous review, Steven. I haven't read this translation. Recently I read an article criticising the translation of the version I read and some of the examples included of passages badly translated, including the opening sentences, highlighted how Pasternak's writing style had been twisted out of shape. It became clear how large a responsibility the translator has sometimes in conveying the beauty of a work. It's awful to think at times we read an inferior version of a work because of a mediocre translation.


message 26: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Violet wrote: "Fabulous review, Steven. I haven't read this translation. Recently I read an article criticising the translation of the version I read and some of the examples included of passages badly translated..."

Thanks, Violet, I read other reviews criticising both new and old translations before choosing. Some found this new one almost unreadable in places, but what they fail to understand is Pasternak wrote with a kind of experimental prose, this was his true vision and how the novel was intended. Why completely change huge sections just so it makes it easier on the eye?. the rhythm, tone, and poetic nature was lost.


message 27: by Ammara (new)

Ammara Abid Excellent review. Adding in my to-read list.


message 28: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Ammara wrote: "Excellent review. Adding in my to-read list."

Thanks, it's well worth adding Ammara.


message 29: by Alan (new)

Alan I started here, the first full novel I read in HS, after reading some sci fi in Jr HS, Citizen of the Galaxy, etc.


message 30: by Steven (last edited May 19, 2018 11:33AM) (new)

Steven Godin Alan wrote: "I started here, the first full novel I read in HS, after reading some sci fi in Jr HS, Citizen of the Galaxy, etc."

Wow!, what a great book to kick start your reading Alan. I must admit to dabbling in some sci-fi once upon a time, but it never really did anything for me, apart from 2001 which I liked.


message 31: by Kenny (new)

Kenny A brilliant review!


message 32: by Steven (new)

Steven Godin Kenny wrote: "A brilliant review!"

Much appreciated Kenny.


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