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The Last Summer is only 90 odd pages long in my Penguin Modern Classics edition of 1960, but it sthan a short story Titled Povest A Talewhen first published in 1934, it s not listed among Boris Pasternak s works in the Russian edition of Wikipedia, suggesting that perhaps the original was never published in the USSR as a separate title As far as I can tell, that is, using Google Translate s word meaning fairy tale, fable or story Maybe Povest was published in a journal or a The Last Summer is only 90 odd pages long in my Penguin Modern Classics edition of 1960, but it sthan a short story Titled Povest A Talewhen first published in 1934, it s not listed among Boris Pasternak s works in the Russian edition of Wikipedia, suggesting that perhaps the original was never published in the USSR as a separate title As far as I can tell, that is, using Google Translate s word meaning fairy tale, fable or story Maybe Povest was published in a journal or a collection, and only published separately as a book when it was translated in 1959 by George Reavey and published by Peter Owen in the afterglow of Pasternak s Nobel Prize in 1959.The first thing to say about the introduction by Pasternak s sister Lydia Slater is that it sabout legacy building than about clarifying the story There are a great many superlatives, and she quotes V.S Pritchett as saying it is a concerto in prose She says its central theme is poetry, the essence of which is the suffering woman.Well, maybe it is She was at Oxford in 1960, which was the year of Pasternak s death, though I do not know whether when the book went to print he had already died of lung cancer, see the cigar in his hand in his father s sketch on the book s cover People who read Russian may well agree with her comparison of his work with Tolstoy s But those of us reading the book now, knowing all the weight of Soviet history and the constraints under which he wrote, and making do with the English translation, may beg to differ Because to me, The Last Summer seems to be thematicallythan about poetry.Slater s florid assertions to protect Pasternak s status as a great poet may be because she would have been well aware of Soviet outrage about Doctor Zhivago and the CIA s machinations to ensure that Pasternak got the Nobel Prize She would have known that Pasternak s wife and daughter were vulnerable to retaliation for Dr Zhivago reaching the west see Wikipedia re their prompt despatch to the Gulags after his death Even from the safety of Oxford, it would have been imprudent for Slater to point out any veiled anti Soviet allusions in The Last Summer And they are there, though it takes close reading to find them, in a book difficult to comprehend because it is so clouded by reminiscences loosely interwoven, cutting into each other, brilliant descriptions of people, situations, thunderstorms, and thoughts I started it three times before I took out my journal and began making copious notes and slowly got the drift of it By the look of the two and three star reviews at Goodreads, most readers struggle with it too.The Last Summer is bookended by Serezha s return from Moscow to his sister Natasha s house in Ousolie in 1916, a heavily polluted salt mining place not even granted town status until 1925 This date is significant, because it s prudently before the October Revolution in 1917, but after the failed one of 1905 Natasha is depicted as having believed in the aims of the 1905 revolution and as far as she is concerned the revolution has only been postponed Here she is Like all of them, Natasha believed that the most demanding cause of her youth had merely been postponed and that, when the hour struck, it would not pass her by This belief explained all the faults of Natasha s character It explained her self assurance, which was softened only by her complete ignorance of her defect It also explained those traits of Natasha s aimless righteousness and all forgiving understanding, which inwardly illuminated her with an inexhaustible light and which yet did not correspond with anything in particular p.32 Natasha, in other words, has no idea what she is in for Pasternak, writing in 1934, had by this time, seen Lenin come and go, and had time to see the Soviet state in action Russia was becoming industrialised, the consequent crisis of agricultural distribution had failed to be ameliorated by collectivisation, and he had witnessed the acquisition of private homes and subsequent overcrowding that he writes about so well in Doctor Zhivago.To see the rest of my review please visit Pasternak s writing could be describedas a prose poem in contrast to Dr Zhivago here, and he takes a lot from his practice as a poet with these beautifully shrouded scenes from the point of view of Serezha who, asleep on his sister s couch, dreams of the last summer before the outbreak of World War I as a young tutor in Russia It was nice and sweet hard to follow at times as is the essence of dreams but, the pictures Pasternak creates of young Serezha, his relationship with Arild and Pasternak s writing could be describedas a prose poem in contrast to Dr Zhivago here, and he takes a lot from his practice as a poet with these beautifully shrouded scenes from the point of view of Serezha who, asleep on his sister s couch, dreams of the last summer before the outbreak of World War I as a young tutor in Russia It was nice and sweet hard to follow at times as is the essence of dreams but, the pictures Pasternak creates of young Serezha, his relationship with Arild and his dreams of fortune are well worth the read It s hardly 100 pages anyways, so why not @READ DOWNLOAD ⚸ The Last Summer × Set in Russia during the winter of , Serezha visits his married sister Tired after a long journey, he falls into a restless sleep and half remembers, half dreams the incidents of the last summer of peace before the First World War when life appeared to pay heed to individuals As tutor in a wealthy, unsettled Moscow household he focuses his intense romanticism on Mrs Arild, his employer s paid companion, while spending his nights with the prostitute Sashka This was either very poorly translated, or poorly written, or both It had the feel of a very young man trying too hard to be poetic and quite often missing the mark The story itself was rambling and amounts to littlethan a collection of observations and reminiscences, interesting in parts, but, on the whole, a bit tiresome. I did not get it I didn t understand the ending I couldn t remember who Lemokh was, because it was so boring and difficult to read There were phrases, metaphors, sentences and entire paragraphs that made no sense to me. I feel like I m missing something, maybe it was the translation, or maybe it s something I ll never get, not being able to read Pasternak in Russian The introduction explained that this book is not a narrative, but loosely interwoven reminiscences Once I got my head around that, I did enjoy some parts. One of my favorite books i read when i was kinda youngduring the hot humid summer nights at a pale light N ist kansista l ytyy sekalainen kokoelma Pasternakin tekstej Ensin on kaksi upeaa novellia Ljuversin lapsuus ja Viimeinen kes Niit lukiessani uppouduin Pasternakin kaihoisaan ja lyyriseen maailmaan, jossa henkil t lipuvat el m ns l pi itse n suuremman kohtalon viet vin.Sitten on Turvakirja niminen ja toinen hajanaisempi yritelm omael m nkerraksi, kirjailijan j lkisanat sek ymm rt kseni suomentajan oikaisuja v rin muistettuihin asioihin.Oliko Pasternak ivagon, Nobelin palkinnon ja N ist kansista l ytyy sekalainen kokoelma Pasternakin tekstej Ensin on kaksi upeaa novellia Ljuversin lapsuus ja Viimeinen kes Niit lukiessani uppouduin Pasternakin kaihoisaan ja lyyriseen maailmaan, jossa henkil t lipuvat el m ns l pi itse n suuremman kohtalon viet vin.Sitten on Turvakirja niminen ja toinen hajanaisempi yritelm omael m nkerraksi, kirjailijan j lkisanat sek ymm rt kseni suomentajan oikaisuja v rin muistettuihin asioihin.Oliko Pasternak ivagon, Nobelin palkinnon ja Neuvostoliitossa kokemiensa vaikeuksien takia niin kiinnostava henkil , ett t llaiselle ylij m pakille l ytyi Suomessa lukijoita Toki lopputuloksena rakentuu jonkinlainen kirjailijakuva J lkisanoissa Pasternak itse on sit mielt , ett h n on el m ss n kirjoittanut vain yhden romaanin, johon h n on t ysin tyytyv inen Se kirja on tietysti upea klassikko Tohtori ivago Olisikohan n in itsekriittinen kirjailija ollut ylpe t st sekakokoelmasta, jonka tekstien pirstaleita ei saa ilman kirjailijan el m koskevaa taustaty t liittym n toisiinsa.Jos olet kiinnostunut Pasternakista tai kirjaharvinaisuuksista, voit lukea enemm n blogistani kiitos, jos joku teist librarianeista haluaa lis t suomennoksen Goodreadsiin Acting thus from conventional discretion, she like a luminary ascribed it to her special attribute of caste , that last summer when life appeared to pay heed to individuals, and when it was easier andnatural to love than to hate , PS , PPS , The House in Russian Literature A strange novella beautiful in places, with dream like qualities and hence the reader is often a little lost too.Serezha visits his sister and family in 1916 Russia He is very tired and dreams reminisces about his recent past, particularly his time as tutor to a rich boy and the lady s companion who was also employed there.The meandering nature of the book is echoed by significant references to water, swimming and floating, including washed in public notoriety and oxymoron , women had A strange novella beautiful in places, with dream like qualities and hence the reader is often a little lost too.Serezha visits his sister and family in 1916 Russia He is very tired and dreams reminisces about his recent past, particularly his time as tutor to a rich boy and the lady s companion who was also employed there.The meandering nature of the book is echoed by significant references to water, swimming and floating, including washed in public notoriety and oxymoron , women had swum to the street surface, raised by chance and attraction from non existence and the fact that the story Serezha tries to write opens Then it began to rain because such drafts inevitably abound in water as an element.There are also some striking metaphors, such as the streets on an empty stomach were impetuously straight and surly , her self assurance, which was softened only by her complete ignorance of her defect and a prostitute s rug which with a rare show ofobeisance invited him not to stand on ceremony Overall, I liked parts of it, but wasn t won over by the whole On the other hand, it s very short, so that was fine