Russischer Schriftsteller und Literaturnobelpreisträger (1890-1960). Archive of seven ALSs (one in Russian and six in German), signed "B. Pasternak," Peredelkino. 15 S. folio und gr.-4to. Deutsch und Russisch. Minimale Faltenrisse. Mit den Umschlägen (Briefmarken ausgeschnitten).
$ 41,230 / 35.000 €
All to Rolf Dietrich Keil in Hamburg, the translator of Pasternak's poetry book Wenn es aufklart [When It Clears Up], published in 1960 by S. Fischer of Frankfurt. Pasternak gives Keil a detailed account of how poetry should be translated.
On May 12, 1959, he offers congratulations on "shiny Diedrichs booklet," and writes (translated): "A Rilke worshiper, I could never suffer his Michelangelo translations as well as St. George's Sh[akespeare] sonnet. It is too puzzling and inexplicable how the same man, whose victory and strength consisted in the imperceptibility and transparency of the means, in the undemanding naturalness of the unpretentious language, applied so much ponderous artificiality in his reproductions, that the accumulation of the formal was stifled by the stale content distracts and almost displaces the meaning, the meaning of what is said from the poem.
On the other hand, translations…require unconditional ease and clarity…because translations are power conductors, and not sources of energy."
On September 14, 1959, he writes, in part (translated): "Among my many correspondents in Germany, there are also some in villages and in the deepest German province. One of them is especially characterized by her modesty and purity of heart. It may well be that in the winter I promised her a copy of a Zhivago by the publisher and had forgotten about it and did not write about it to Frankfurt. Send my sincerely regards to the dear couple."
On February 21, 1960, he writes about the translation of a work on Chopin, in part (translated): "The meaning of poetry in general to understand all great poetry and to be a poet, to be able to distinguish what is invigoratingly important, what is insignificant in the works of poetry, which are not fixed notarial acts but so too first say still arising, moving creations. How was I always annoyed, how much bad blood I made in my Shakesp[eare] and Goethe work with this demand of stupid killing literalness, with the desire to preserve the etudes unnoticed that with the word miracle beings and the rhymes Polonaises the nerve of lively accuracy, rather than by means of a four-line clumsy and meaningless limping, for the sake of the etude, which is difficult for a foreign versification! What can I tell them? The great success predicted for you is a danger to me. One will forget about the splendor, the shimmer, the warmth, the music, the noble, the unstoppable of your book, for all this is your merit." In overall fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelopes, all addressed in Pasternak's hand, with the stamps clipped off. Also includes two letters by Pasternak's sister Josefine, and one by his sister Lydia..