Posts Tagged ‘boris pasternak’

The Last Summer

The Last Summer (1934)
by Boris Pasternak, translated by George Reavey
93 pages
Penguin Modern Classics


This short book by the author of Doctor Zhivago is more of a prose-poem than a novel. It’s about a man who is on leave from the military who goes to visit his sister, and after his arrival he drifts into a tired half-sleep where he travels back to scattered thoughts of last summer, before the outbreak of the first World War.

This was an odd read because I’m sure it’s a better read in the original language. It just has to be, because frankly what’s there now comes across as just a pretentious mess. But it’s hard to know how much can be faulted on the translation. What is there in english just seems very scattered and self-absorbed. At the very least the translator could have tried to inject some rhythm into the prose, which comes off as very clunky.

I do like the cover art though, it’s a drawing of the author by his father, Leonid Pasternak.

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