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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 11:05 GMT
Publishing first for Pasternak
Dr Zhivago
Keira Knightley and Hans Matheson starred in the mini-series
The entire works of Russian writer Boris Pasternak, banned by the Soviet authorities for 30 years, are to be published in his home country.

Pasternak was banned in 1958 from the Union of Soviet Writers after receiving the Nobel prize for literature for his classic love story Doctor Zhivago.

The ban was lifted in 1988 under Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost policy.

All 11 volumes are set to be published by February 2005 to mark the 115th anniversary of Pasternak's birth.

The first two volumes, including poems written between 1912 and 1959, have already been printed by Slovo publishers.

The nine others will also be published before February next year.

Worried

Pasternak's son Yevgeny said Doctor Zhivago had been deemed "a challenge to the ideology of lying" when it was banned.

A group of Russian writers and musicians expressed concern last summer that Soviet-era dissident writers including Pasternak were being dropped from the mandatory curriculum in high schools.

In an open letter to Education Minister Vladimir Filippov in the Izvestiya newspaper, they said novelists of the stature of Pasternak are now being recommended for optional reading only.

"Soviet canon continues to push out the historical truth that has been acquired over the past 10 years on the repressive regime and its consequences on the people," the letter said.

Costume drama

In the former Soviet Union, writers had to receive state approval to publish their works, and many dissident writers had been subjected to harsh repressions by the state.

The letter was signed by 13 Russian cultural figures, including poet Andrei Voznesenky, writer Fazil Iskander and musician Andrei Makarevich.

The Guardian newspaper reported last year that Russian television had bought an ITV mini-series of Doctor Zhivago starring Keira Knightley.

Russia's Channel One was given permission to screen the series by Pasternak's surviving relatives who hold the rights to his work, reported the newspaper.

The lavish TV drama cost 8.5m and was funded with money from Britain, Germany, Italy and the US.

The book was also adapted for the big screen in 1965 and starred Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.




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