Online Adoptions 2014: Manuscripts-Folger Shakespeare Library
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Online Adoptions 2014: Manuscripts

Adopt a New Acquisition

Stalin vs. Pasternak's Hamlet

Shakespeare. Hamlet. Russian. Manuscript, ca. 1940s

Adopt for: $17,500

William Shakespeare, 1564–1616. Hamlet ["Perevod sangliskoga Boris Pasternaka. Gamlet, prints Datskii"], translated by Boris Pasternak. Manuscript samizdat copy, circulated in Soviet Russia. Circa 1940s.

This samizdat-era copy of Boris Pasternak's translation of Hamlet is thought to have been copied by hand and circulated in Soviet Russia at a time when it was too politically sensitive to perform the play. Pasternak was constantly revising his translation between 1939 and 1954, and this copy appears to be an amalgamation of versions. A proposed staging of Pasternak's translation was cancelled in 1941 after Stalin expressed disapproval. The manuscript is accompanied by a 1939 edition of Mikhail Morozov's critical commentary of the play, of which no copies are known in the US or the UK.
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