This authoritative new biography of the Russian poet and prose writer Boris Pasternak is the first part of a two-volume set, covering the period 1890-1928. Drawing on archives and many eyewitness accounts, Barnes' study sheds light on currently unexplored aspects of Pasternak's character and family background, and his artistic, social and historical environment. He combines biographical investigation with detailed textual analysis of translated quotations in verse and prose to reveal the source of Pasternak's extraordinary writings. The book examines a wide range of topics that include his musical enthusiasm and relations with Scriabin, his philosophical studies, his activities in World War I and his response to the 1917 revolutions, and his stance as a liberal artistic intellectual in the 1920s.
List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Origins and infancy; 2. School and Scriabin; 3. Revolution and Berlin; 4. Youth's impressions, literature and music; 5. Literature, love and creativity; 6. Philosophy in Moscow and Marburg; 7. A literary launch; 8. Wartime in the Urals and Over the Barriers; 9. Quiet Hills and revolution; 10. Civil war activities; 11. Berlin interlude; 12. Malady Sublime and the air of history; 13. The epic age; 14. Breaches, losses, and lyric revival; Notes; Bibliography; Index.