Boris Pasternak’s Apartment

Address: 17 Lavrushinskii Lane, Moscow

The House of Writers on Lavrushinskii Lane. Photo: mosarchinform.ru

The House of Writers on Lavrushinskii Lane. 
Photo: mosarchinform.ru

For Shalamov, Boris Pasternak was the epitome of what a poet should be--“a living Buddha,” as he often referred to Pasternak in his prose and poems. Shalamov wrote to Pasternak for the first time when he was working in Yakutia in the far north as a feldsher (medical assistant). Along with letters, Shalamov sent handmade notebooks of his poems. Pasternak answered him benevolently.

Boris Pasternak on the balcony of his apartment on Lavroushinskii Lane, 1948. Photo: Lev Gornung, the Collection of Evgueny Pasternak

Boris Pasternak on the balcony of his apartment on Lavroushinskii Lane, 1948. Photo: Lev Gornung, the Collection of Evgueny Pasternak 

Shalamov visited Pasternak on the first day after his return to Moscow, and they had a long conversation. At that time, Shalamov was still supposed to be in exile 101 kilometers away from Moscow, but he nevertheless visited Moscow and Pasternak several times.

Correspondence and communication between the two poets ceased because of Shalamov’s quarrel with Olga Ivinskaya. Despite their estrangement, Shalamov revered Pasternak as a poet and a moral role model. Pasternak, in turn, appreciated his relationship with Shalamov and valued him as a poet and a man with a tragic destiny.

Sergey Solovyov