Thursday, March 03, 2011

World Book Day : John le Carre : the Bodleian Libraries : Dr Zhivago #worldbookday #bodleian #lecarre

World Book Day

To-day is World Book Day.  Find out all about it here.  

What is fascinating this year - if you are a John le Carre fan and a fan of his most famous character, George Smiley - is that he has presented his literary archive to the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford in England. The intention is that the Bodleian will become the permanent home of the archive.

You can see images of some of the manuscript for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy here.
You can see images of some of the manuscript for The Russia House here.

The Russia House - film

I recall the movie of The Russia House quite fondly.  You see, I have been in love with Boris Pasternak since I read Dr Zhivago at the age of seventeen.  I have always kept a copy of the book on my shelves – and, in fact, have two at the moment.  You see, I don’t want to be without Dr Zhivago’s poems which are at the back of the novel.

I am not much of a traveller in foreign climes and have never visited Russia.  I always promised myself, that if ever I did visit Russia, I would visit Pasternak’s grave at Peredelkino.  In The Russia House is a scene in which Sean Connery’s character, Barley Blair, spends a Sunday at a lunch with the literary lights of Moscow at Peredelkino.  After lunch, he visits Pasternak’s grave.

So, in a sense, courtesy of John le Carre and Australian director Fred Schepisi (whose family used to own a pub at the old gold mining town of Ravenswood near Charters Towers in North Queensland), I feel like I have been to the grave.  I have paid my homage.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

The Collected George Smiley Radio Dramas: Eight BBC Full-Cast Productions Starring Simon Russell Beale (BBC Radio 4 Dramatisations)

3 Titles By John Le Carre: "The Russia House," "A Perfect Spy," "The Honourable School Boy"

Doctor Zhivago

The Poems of Doctor Zhivago

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