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Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Story of Boris

The Story of Boris

As I have been really busy with other stuff recently I am re-posting this from April 2010.
Boris, left, with his brother.
I had an Uncle who was a rare book dealer. Several years ago, after his father's funeral, my cousin John told me this story.
Uncle Ben was interested in Russian literature and was reading a volume of poetry by Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago. My grandfather came from Russia in 1906 in the wave of Jewish emigration from that place at that time and, although he spoke good enough English, he never learned to read or write it. He saw the book had a photograph of the author on the back.
"That's my cousin Boris!" he said. "No, Dad, that's Boris Pasternak" said Uncle Ben, smiling indulgently.
Granddad (known to our large family as 'Pop') insisted it was his cousin so Uncle Ben set about researching it. Pasternak's father was an artist of renown and his mother a famous concert pianist. While he was growing up Tolstoy, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Rilke were regular visitors to the house.
His father converted to Christianity and Boris went off to University and Pop never saw him again but he was proved to be right; all of the facts he gave Uncle Ben were verified and it turns out that Bazza's grandfather was Boris Pasternak's first cousin.
I think it means that I share about 1.5% of my genes with a Nobel Prize winner. Explains a lot don't you think?
I'm listening to the Dixie Chick's 'Landslide'. I actually prefer it to Fleetwood Mac's original. You can listen here.

19 comments:

Dixie@dcrelief said...

First of all Bazza, thank you for playing the Dixie Chicks... I love their version more than Fleetwood Mac's too. I was so sadden when the US country music rejected this wonderful female group. A true shame on our supposed, "freedom of speech," nation. I stopped supporting the CMA's programs that year.

Meanwhile, I now know from whence your brilliance comes!! >> "I think it means that I share about 1.5% of my genes with a Nobel Prize winner." Of course, Bazza, and one day you'll discover you're related to a famous painter!! Your immense talent has never escaped my observation. Well done. Congratulations on family!

~ Dixie

bazza said...

Now I'm blushing Dixie Chick!
I don't know what you mean that the CMA 'rejected' the group?

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Yes, I like the Dixie Chicks version better also.

You have excellent bloodlines and how wonderful to be related to a person of such talent and fame.

I hope you are busy with something that gives you joy and satisfaction.

bazza said...

Hi Arleen. Yes, I am busy with good stuff; thanks for your kind wishes.
There is a very nice version of the song on You Tube with Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Twain on the Oprah Show.

loverofwords said...

Of course you are related! Love the research aspect, so much fun to uncover things like this. One thing leads to another. . .

bazza said...

Hi Natasha. I believe that I mentioned to you previously that my Grandparents had come from Kiev. And, of course, my Uncle Ben went on to manufacture his own rice products!:-)

Dixie@dcrelief said...

The Country Music Association in this country rejected them. Radio stations refused to play their music because it was said the lead singer of the group insulted President Bush on stage in England.

Actually, I can not think of a better place to have done that, myself. Oh well, I so dislike politics, so there you go.

John said...

Do I have to bow now whilst I am commenting Bazza! ;)
Family history fascinates me, I have a couple of murderers and a survivor of the Brides in the bath murders in my extended family!
J
Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

bazza said...

Dixie: Hey, what happened to free speech? Satirists can make fun of our Royal Family with indemnity in the UK. However, I think music and politics should be kept separate (same goes for politics and sport).

bazza said...

John: Get up off your knees good sir! I will try to remain humble...
I suppose a murderer and a victim kind of balance each other out.

David said...

Hi bazza,
Now we know where your genius comes from!
This is a fascinating little story, though. I must have missed it last time.
I'm afraid I can't claim to have any familial links with literary giants, so my own genius must be a one-off!
Very Best Wishes to you, bazza,
David.

bazza said...

Well David, your genius is self-evident and that's a much better claim!

Sherry Ellis said...

That's an interesting bit of history of your family tree. Yes, you must have gotten some good genes from him!

bazza said...

Hi Sherry: I wish I was as clever as him- I've probably got the genes that determine the shape of my nose or something like that!

Vagabonde said...

How exciting to be related to Boris Pasternak! And this is not really far off in the past. People have told me before they were French, because one of their relatives came over in the US several hundred years ago. The Cajuns have reunions with people here and in Canada with the same last name, “relatives” from the 1750s …

bazza said...

Hi Vagaobonde. And, of course, if one goes back, say, ten generations there are more than two thousand direct antecedents! So the whole thing is a bit tenuous anyway.

Hels said...

I can utterly identify with your family. My late mother KNEW that Russians were born and educated to be composers, instrumentalists, painters, sculptors, doctors, academics, scientists, writers, dancers, theatre people and architects. Your uncle, Pasternak's father, was an artist of renown and his mother a famous concert pianist. And he grew up with Tolstoy, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Rilke being regular visitors to the house!

You see? We are very special families :)
Thanks for the link
http://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/russian-composers-playwrights-and.html

Hels said...

I forgot to ask you a favour.

Could you add Key Words to each post - then the reader can see your posts' topics at a glance, rather than flicking back through Older Posts. For example, I love the Fauvists but there is no easy way of finding your post on Vlaminck at the moment.

bazza said...

Hi Hels. Thanks for visiting and the lovely comments. I did use keywords at one time but have let it lapse; maybe I'll start again. Of course, there is a search box in the top left corner which I have used myself several times. I just tried a Vlaminck search and it worked! I will now check out the post in your link.
I'm now listening the Nirvana track mentioned at the foot of this post.
I try to be modest about the composition of my genes........