Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,187 covers and 55,435 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Meryl Streep Talks Acting With Daughter Mamie Gummer in Ricki and the Flash: "She's the Real Deal"
- The Best Photos from the Week of July 27- August 2, 2015
- Watch New Girl Star Jake Johnson Try and Fail at Parkour
- Amy Schumer Tells Jon Stewart About Her 'Heartbreak' Over Trainwreck Shooting
- Brazilian Dog Refuses to Leave Hospital Caring for Ailing Owner, Even After Owner Dies (Video)
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 02, 1996
- Vol. 46
- No. 23
Author Boris Pasternak's Letters Reveal His Passion for His Real-Life Lara
The paper is fading, but the sentiments bring to vivid life one of the great romances of the 20th century, between Russia's celebrated poet Boris Pasternak and his longtime mistress Olga Ivinskaya, the model for the Julie Christie character, Lara, in the 1965 film version of Pasternak's Nobel Prize-winning novel, Doctor Zhivago. The 22 letters, written in the last three years of Pasternak's life—he died of lung cancer in 1960—are part of a cache of his notes and manuscripts set to be auctioned on Nov. 27 at Christie's in London. The material is expected to fetch at least $750,000.
"It was a dramatic affair, and the letters were produced in dramatic circumstances," says Pasternak scholar Christopher Barnes of the collection put on the block by anonymous relatives of Ivinskaya, who died last year. "Anybody who owns them or can afford to buy them will be sitting on a treasure."
Pasternak had already begun his novel of revolutionary Russia when he met Ivinskaya, 34—22 years his junior—while she was working for a Moscow literary journal in 1946. Each had been married twice and had two children. After succumbing to his persistent wooing, Ivinskaya "reigned as empress of his heart," wrote Pasternak biographer, Ronald Hingley, even though Pasternak never left his second wife, Zinaida Nikolaevna.
Ivinskaya would pay dearly for being mistress and muse to Pasternak, an opponent of the Stalinist state. In 1949, pregnant with Pasternak's child, she was imprisoned because of her association with him and suffered a miscarriage Even after Pasternak's death, his beloved "Oliusha" was sentenced to a labor camp for eight years. Unbowed, she wrote A Captive of Time, the story of her life with Pasternak, which was not published until 1978.
The couple's enduring passion remains in their letters, many of which were written while a vulnerable Pasternak was being treated for a heart condition and during his final bout with lung cancer. "I am with you all day long," reads one letter. "I feel you are so much part of me, it's like writing letters to myself." In another he wrote, "I hold you terribly, terribly close to me, and almost faint from tenderness, and nearly weep."
Ivinskaya died in Moscow. She was 83. Financial hardship had forced her to sell some of the cherished letters from Pasternak, but she kept those that were dearest to her. Hingley says Olga always sought to "portray herself to posterity as the great inspirer and love of his life." These poignant postscripts to a grand and tragic affair support that claim.
MOIRA BAILEY in London
- Moira Bailey.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!