New Book Review – Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago Chapter 17, Poems by Yuri Zhivago, Translated by Yuri Menis

Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago Chapter 17, Poems by Yuri Zhivago, translated by Yuri Menis, reveals the amazing poetry that, according to some, was the real reason why the world famous novel was ever written.

Haymarket, VA, USA – June 8, 2020 – Yuri Menis’ translation of Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago Chapter 17, Poems by Yuri Zhivago is what Yuri Menis calls a “translation out of desperation”, meaning that great poetic works can be handled and preserved in other languages only by means of outstanding translations, which are “desperately” few and far between.

These translations of poems by Yuri Zhivago, the main character of the Nobel Prize winner Boris Pasternak’s world-famous novel “Doctor Zhivago,” provides excellent insight and depth to the fascinating character Doctor Yuri Zhivago from this work of literary art. The book was eventually turned into an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie with Omar Sharif as Yuri and Julie Christie as his lovely Laura.

The twenty-five poems are part and parcel of the novel as a separate chapter and are considered to be a masterpiece of Russian poetry. Boris Pasternak had to reject the Nobel Prize due to restrictions imposed in the then Soviet Union.

Ann Pasternak Slater, literary scholar and translator who was formerly a Fellow and Tutor at St Anne’s College, Oxford and the niece of Boris Pasternak, reviewed Menis’ translation and had nothing but praise.

I read these translations with pleasure – some of them running in tandem with my mother’s parallel translation reverberating to yours as I read. And I loved your choice of poems, and many moments in them, when you swung comfortably into Pasternak’s beat. I can see that you are driven by exactly the same set of values as she was, the replication of the form of the original poems being paramount. The modernity of Pasternak lay in his language and imagery, and his remarkable use of assonance, within these tight forms. And you do get that across, as well as conveying the vital and unexpected imagery, tied together in the onward march of the rhythmic form. The endings of several of the translations you’ve sent me are very strong (as in the originals) – particularly the lovely image of the centuries moving downstream like barges, in ‘The Garden of Gethsemane’. ~ Ann Pasternak Slater

Dmitri Bykov, writer, poet, journalist, and a biographer of Boris Pasternak, reviewed Yuri’s translation with some of the following remarks: “phenomenal achievement…”, “the translator… has created a miracle…” and “…deserves a rightful place in the English language classical literature…”

Translator Yuri Menis was born in Ukraine in 1952; became a US citizen in 2000. Currently resides in Northern Virginia. Yuri Menis has been a translator, interpreter, and teacher for many years. Yuri has translated and published poetry of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow, Thomas Moore, Wystan Hugh Auden, Edna Millay, William Butler Yeats and others.

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Genre – Translations, Russian Literature, Russian Poetry, Doctor Zhivago, Lara Antipova, Boris Pasternak, Russian Revolution, Soviet Union

Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago Chapter 17, Poems by Yuri Zhivago ISBN 9781506906904, published by First Edition Design Publishing (, is available online wherever ebooks are sold. The 136-page print book version, ISBN 9781506906898 is published by First Edition Design Publishing and distributed worldwide to online booksellers.

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