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Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago Notes Sell For $77,500 In New York Auction

  • RFE/RL

Handwritten notes by Russian author Boris Pasternak for two chapters of Doctor Zhivago, his acclaimed novel set against the tumult of the Bolshevik Revolution, have sold for $77,500 at a New York auction.

The auction house Bonhams, which did not identify the buyer, said on April 11 the manuscript included a draft of the third and fourth chapters of the book.

"Some sentences in this rough draft ended up in the final novel," the auction house said on its website.

The book was rejected by Soviet publishers but later smuggled out of the country and published in Italy. The following year, in 1958, Pasternak was awarded the Nobel prize for literature, though the Soviet government forced him to refuse it.

Bonhams said the papers include a poem written to the Russian poet Olga Ivinskaya, Pasternak's mistress, assistant, and muse who was the inspiration for Lara, the heroine in Dr. Zhivago.

Ivinskaya is the source of the papers, which Pasternak dated May 7, 1956, the auction house said.

With reporting by AFP