NEW YORK—Notes handwritten by Russian author Boris Pasternak for two chapters of his masterpiece “Doctor Zhivago,” along with a poem to his muse, sold at auction in New York on Monday for $77,500.
The manuscript put on sale by auction house Bonhams included a draft of the third and fourth chapters of the controversial book, which was later adapted into an Oscar-winning film.
The papers included a poem written to his lover, the poet Olga Ivinskaya, who served as his inspiration for the novel’s main character Lara.
Parts of the poem appear in the book, which is set against the backdrop of the Russian revolutions in the early 20th century.
Pasternak’s novel was rejected by Soviet publishers, and so he successfully smuggled it out of the country, and had it published in Italy. He won the Nobel prize for literature the following year, but the Soviet government forced him to refuse it.
At Monday’s sale, the highest price, $269,000, was paid for a 48-page manuscript from British author Arthur Conan Doyle of “Sherlock Holmes” fame.