An author's delight.
19 March, 2014
I have a few friends who write, more as a hobby than a profession but given their backgrounds and where they are in life, I would be least surprised to see them as successful and sought after authors. I know I seek them out!
One of them had recently written a nice little piece about finding a dilapidated, unknown, well-forgotten book in an ignored corner only to be blown away by its narration. A fantasy but one that got you wishing you would actually find such a book somewhere, someday, that such an event is possible and that it does happen in everyone's life, at least once.
I was smiling from ear to ear as I read her piece and reminisced the time I found Doctor Zhivago.
Summer vacations can be quite boring when you are visiting cousins you dont really get along well with in a city you dont really like. More so, when you are just 15 and your appetite for reading is limited to investigative mysteries and magical fantasies. But drive a kid to boredom and he finds the hunger to read whatever he can, if only to run away for a while. I found a coverless copy of Doctor Zhivago and it was only at the end of the book that I found mention of the name of the book. A yellowed copy on an otherwise clean shelf that I would have ignored if I hadn't already devoured all the other books in my sister's room. I must say, I wasn't old enough to understand and appreciate the depth of the book but I didn’t really need to be. The author, Boris Pasternak, was skillful enough to drag me into the depths that the book holds.
Yuri Zhivago’s life wasn’t quite as torrid as might have been for some in Russia at the time. He sought peace, the way we all try to, only to have it taken away and sometimes, to give it away himself. A man torn between the loves of his life and the wanderings of his mind. A man who was surrounded by such people that helped him experience conflicting emotions with such clarity that they left him muddled. A life in a time that was volatile, energetic, inspirational and tragic…wait, I need to stop. I wont give you a literary analysis of the book, neither will I want to give you a spoiler by spilling pieces of the plot. (Although, if I am honest, it has been 15 years since I read the book so my recollection will be sketchy at best.) I will though, recommend you read Doctor Zhivago, not as the crown jewel of a Nobel Laureate but as a work of fiction, inspired by the author’s reality and painted with such depth as to make you feel you are living Yuri Zhivago’s life. With the similarities between the author and Yuri, I think Boris paints Yuri as the man he imagined he would be. This book then, isn’t an autobiography that is limited by the harshness of reality, neither is it a work of fiction painted with an unbelievable & grandiose imagination but in a beautiful place somewhere in between, where memories confuse themselves with dreams.
Problem in saving your vote. Try again.