Liberal Arts in Russia EN-rus logo
russian flagRussian
ISSN 2305-8420 (Print)
ISSN 2312-6442 (Online)
Current Issue

Theologically-ethic Historicism of B. Pasternak

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2013. Vol. 2. No. 5. Pp. 493-500.
Get the full text (Russian)
Zaytseva A. R.
Bashkir State University
32 Zaki Validi st., 450074 Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia


This article devotes the relevant problem, which wasn't examined in B. Pasternak's works- the problem of historicism. The aim of the author – ideological and artistic quests of the poet which are connected with his Christian view of history as a part of universal history and artist's place within. The article shows the opposition between two conceptions of B. Pasternak history: politico-social and all the Christian. The evolution of poet's works is fully connected with this opposition. In first post-revolutionary decade Pasternak-pantheist perceived modern history as natural and necessary he saw historic and moral probity there. Tragic events in the country in 1930s, the arrest of his friends-artists and deepening into his Christian feelings led B. Pasternak to a rupture with modern life/reality and a change of his social-pantheistic historicism with religious-ethic one. Christian philosophy of history in mature works of the poet is inseparably connected with a theme of artist's soul as it is a benefaction of his moral not social choice in history. The most part of religious-ethic historicism was embodied in cyclus of “Yuri Zhivago's poems” especially in “Hamlet” that was created on an analogy Hamlet-Christ-Artist. The persona of the poetry and the novel “Doctor Zhivago” by B. Pasternak chooses fatal way predetermined to him by his father – the Lord in universal history, and he refuses to take part in "drama" of modern history. Christian historicism of the poet ends up at social-anti-historicism when the persona doesn't participate in politico-social history and oblational shares fatal destiny given by Christ with a nation. Late works of B. Pasternak arise the theme about destinies unity – the artist and the nation, about equality of sufferings in a tragic century. It proofs, that theologically-ethic historicism peculiar to the poet relieves him of all the accusations because of his isolation of the destiny of his country and the folk, because of his anti-patriotism and anti-nationalism. Ontological optimism of the poet, his philosophy of art appeared in Christian point of time and human's part within.


  • • philosophy of history
  • • worldview
  • • pantheism
  • • the Christian consciousness
  • • ontology
  • • image
  • • theme
  • • motif
  • • Hamlet
  • • Christ
  • • lyrical hero
  • • lyrical story


  1. 1 S raznykh tochek zreniya: «Doktor Zhivago» Borisa Pasternaka [From Different Points of View: «Doctor Zhivago» by Boris Pasternak]. Moscow, 1990. 288 pp.
  2. 2 Ozerov L. O Borise Pasternake [About Boris Pasternak]. Moscow, 1990. 132 pp.
  3. 3 Pasternak B. Sobranie sochinenii [Collection of Writings]: V 5 t. Moscow, 1989–1992.
  4. 4 Ivanova N. Boris Pasternak: Vremena zhizni [Boris Pasternak: Lifetimes]. Moscow, 2007. 566 pp.
  5. 5 Boris Pasternak ob iskusstve: «Okhrannaya gramota» i zametki o khudozhestvennom tvorchestve [Boris Pasternak about Art: "Safe Conduct" and Notes about Art]. Moscow, 1990. 399 pp.
  6. 6 Perepiska Borisa Pasternaka [Boris Pasternak Correspondence]. Moscow, 1990. 575 pp.