Reading Pasternak: Dr. Zhivago

Short Course

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The novel Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak is one of the most iconic texts of Russian literature of the 20th century. In Soviet times, it was a subject of ideological dispute, and in the new era – an object of interest for theorists of literature, filmmakers, and theater directors. For the author himself, it was the book of his entire life. History and time, destiny of the people and one man, worship to the idea and love, nature and culture – everything is combined in a complex pattern of life, which Boris Pasternak gently reflects in his novel. While reading the novel it seems everything happens by chance. However, the main question is what is chance?

This course is a multi-faceted look at Boris Pasternak's masterpiece, Dr. Zhivago. We will navigate our way through this work with five lectures and a virtual "live" visit to Peredelkino, the writers' village outside of Moscow, where the novel was written.

This course is equally valuable to students looking to supplement current Russian language and/or literature studies as it is to educators and life-long learners.

Russian language add-on: Those with suitable Russian language ability may opt in for two additional meetings to read and discuss sections of the text in Russian. $25, minimum of two participants required.
SRAS Alumni: Contact us for alumni discount and payment instructions.
Educational institutions: Contact us for group pricing.
Want to gift this course? Contact us for instructions.

Lecture Topics

Russian Language Sessions

Technology and Scheduling

About Your Instructor

Transcripts and Credit Transfer

SRAS Learning Credits


Literature, Russian Language

«But all the time, life, one, immense, identical throughout its innumerable combinations and transformations, fills the universe and is continually reborn. You are anxious about whether you will rise from the dead or not, but you rose from the dead when you were born and you didn't notice it».