Wednesday, January 3, 2007

" ... the truth that was in him ..."

“In one word, Pasternak emerged as a genuine human being stranded in a mad world.” (p.5)

“… he stirred up the unsatisfied spiritual appetites of men for ideals a little more personal, a little less abstract, than modern society seems to offer them.” (p.5)

“In bursting upon the heads of all, Zhivago inevitably deluged first of all those simple and pontifical souls whose Gospel is passive conformity with the politicians and bigshots, with the high priests of journalism and the doctors of propaganda: upon those who though they no longer decorate their paunches with cheap watch chains, still thrive on conformity with the status quo, on either side of the iron curtain.” (p.9)

“Both as a writer and as a man, Pasternak stands out as a sign of contradiction in our age of materialism, collectivism, and power politics. His spiritual genius is essentially and powerfully solitary. Yet his significance does not lie precisely in this. Rather it lies in the fact that his very solitude made him capable of extraordinarily intimate and understanding contacts with men all over the face of the earth … for all the evils of the world: it was the man himself, the truth that was in him, his simplicity, his direct contact with life, and the fact that he was full of the only revolutionary force that is capable of producing anything new: he is full of love.” (p. 10-11)

All quotes are from The Pasternak Affair, an essay by Thomas Merton

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Lax photography

Robert Lax (1915-2000), Untitled, 1970s; black and white photograph, 11 x 17 inches; Robert Lax Archives. St. Bonaventure University ...