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Safe Conduct: An Autobiography and Other Writings Paperback – April 14, 2009
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Take the following quote and if you find it engaging you will enjoy this short and enjoyable book. "And it is from this theme that art is born. It is more one-sided than people think. It cannot be directed at will where one wants like a telescope. Focussed on a reality which feeling has displaced, art is a record of this displacement. It copies from nature. How does nature get into this state of displacement? Details attain clarity, losing independence of meaning. Each detail can be replaced by another. Any one is precious. Any one chosen at random serves as evidence of the state which envelops the whole of transposed reality."
After studying music (under the baton of A. Scriabin) and philosophy (neo-Kantianism in Marburg), Boris Pasternak finally found his true vocation: literature.
His artistic faith
As superbly explained by his French translator, Michel Aucouturier, B. Pasternak's aesthetics are fundamentally influenced by Schopenhauer. Art, true lyricism, binds 'the world as representation' (the objects) to the 'world as will' (our perceptions). True art reveals unexpected features, new aspects of reality. Prose or poetry give a name to these new aspects for the first time and in a unique manner. In this way, art creates a new reality through the 'strength' (the feelings of the author) and through images. In other words, the lyrical principle is a principle of subversion. Art cannot be driven by political imperatives. The poet is always a rebel against the social order: the most enduring images are those of the iconoclast.
Mayakovsky and the totalitarian State
Among the authors of the various Russian literary movements at the time, V. Mayakovsky was B. Pasternak's real hero. The suicide of the one `who had the novelty of the time in his blood', was a very serious blow for B. Pasternak and an unmistakable omen of things to come. (See the memoirs of D. Shostakovich for another view on Mayakovsky.)
During his travels across Europe, B. Pasternak was amazed by Venice, but he stumbles on its 'boca di leone'.Read more ›