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Working paper

“Suicide And Love” In Boris Pasternak’s Ideology: The New Discovered Letter

The paper explores the tight relation between “art” and “immortality” in Boris Pasternak’s author’s ideology on the basis of his new discovered letter to his second wife Zinaida Nikolaevna Neigauz, written in the beginning of 1931. This letter, preserved only in a copy, sheds new light upon one of the most important point of author’s ideology. In this document, Pasternak explains his views on the unacceptability of suicide. The letter is closely related to his autobiographical work Safe Conduct, the final part of which was written soon after the suicide of Vladimir Mayakovsky. It is possible to stretch a line from the letter to the late Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago. The life finals of two protagonists, Yuri Zhivago and his antipode Pavel Antipov-Strelnikov, are compared. The main protagonist dies, leaving behind his poetry. For Pasternak, it is the way of continuation, “life after death”, and the symbol of creative immortality of a poet. On the contrary, Antipov committed suicide, and it was consequential final of his life position.