La nave di Teseo
Il senso di colpa del Dottor Zivago
When Soviet police knock on Olga Ivinskaya’s door on August 16, 1960, she already knows the reason for that unwelcome visit. For fifteen years she has in fact been the lover, friend, and confidante of the writer Boris Pasternak, who became an enemy of the motherland in the aftermath of the clandestine publication of Doctor Zhivago. Olga entered Boris’s heart to such an extent that she inspired the novel’s female protagonist, the immortal Lara. By 1960 Pasternak has been dead for a few months, three years have passed since the first edition of the novel and two years since the Nobel Prize he was forced not to collect, so Olga ends up in Siberia after a summary trial. It is only the last chapter, posthumously, in the sentimental life of an erratic writer, marked by crazy loves and sudden abandonments: from his second wife Zinaida, stolen by a friend, to the poetess Marina Cvetaeva, to the dazzling encounter with his new muse, Olga. Around it, Pasternak’s ambiguous life flows toward a regime he disputes in private but does not hesitate to support publicly, betraying the ideals of fellow intellectuals such as Anna Achmatova and Osip Mandel’štam, who knew the horrors of the Lubyanka.
Pierluigi Battista recounts the novel-like life of Boris Pasternak, a compelling story of women
and poets, spies and secret correspondence, in which literature and passion are dangerously intertwined.