October 30, 1958

PASTERNAK: Stockholm, 29 – The Russian writer Boris Pasternak has decided not to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish Academy received a telegram today from Pasternak, who said that, given the spirit in which the society of which he is a member had reacted to the award, he decided to refuse the honor. He asked the academy not to misinterpret his decision, which he said was «arrived at freely.» The academy’s permanent secretary announced that the monetary award that would have been given to Pasternak would most probably be held in trust until next year. The secretary refused to comment upon the content of the telegram, but said that the academy would discuss the problem at its meeting tomorrow. According to sources in Moscow, Pasternak’s home in the city suburbs was under police guard today. Pasternak had been told that if he left the Soviet Union to accept the prize, he would not be allowed to return. In Washington, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles said Pasternak’s refusal to accept the Nobel Prize showed the Soviet authorities were trying to destroy freedom of thought. Dulles added that he believed the Russian writer was forced to reject the prize due to pressure from the Soviet authorities.

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