The Last Summer, by Boris Pasternak, translated by George Reavey #BookReview


ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

The Last Summer is only 90-odd pages long in my Penguin Modern Classics edition of 1960, but it’s more than a short story.  Titled Povest (A Tale) when 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 сказка 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’s more about legacy-building than about clarifying the story.  There are a great many superlatives, and…

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