RUSSIA: Pasternak's Retreat

"I accepted the award of the Nobel Prize as a literary distinction. I rejoiced . . . But I was wrong." White-haired Russian Poet-Novelist Boris Pasternak wrote these abject words in Pravda last week, and the Soviet news agency Tass triumphantly fired them round the world as Pasternak's "confession" that the Swedish prize committee's award to him last month had been "political."

It was a mean little gain for Soviet propaganda, and a larger defeat for human dignity. Yet if Pasternak's letter was a retreat, it was not a complete capitulation....

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