Boris Pasternak Elisabeth Van Der Meer  Podcast TTT Russian Literature Storytelling Tea Toast & Trivia

Episode 37 Connecting Finland and Canada via Russian Literature

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Russian literature has captured my heart ever since I read the opening paragraphs of Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. A funeral and a mother’s grave – profound, moving, unforgettable way to begin a narrative.

I was 15 years old when first I read Doctor Zhivago!


Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak may have opened the door to Russian literature. Complex, dramatic, haunting – the roots of Russian literature can be traced back to the Middle Ages.  But it was my dear blogger friend, Elisabeth van der Meer  from the blog A Russian Affair who has been my unfailing guide in the exploration of Russian literature.

Elizabeth has joined me in a huge leap into the podcasting unknown, from the far distance of 7,514 km or 4,669 miles. We are connecting Finland and Canada via Russian Literature.

So, put the kettle on and join in the conversation.  We would love to hear your thoughts on

I am your host Rebecca Budd and I’m looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

Thank you for joining Elisabeth and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.  And thank you, Elisabeth, for sharing your love of Russian literature.  I am truly grateful for your willingness to come back to discuss the brilliant writer Ivan Turgenev

One last thought comes from Doctor Zhivago:

“I don’t think I could love you so much if you had nothing to complain of and nothing to regret. I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and of little value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.” Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

Boris Pasternak

May we be open to the beauty of our life.

Until next time, dear friends, safe travels wherever your adventures take you.

A Russian Affair


By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

27 replies on “Episode 37 Connecting Finland and Canada via Russian Literature”

Thank you, Rebecca, for having me as your guest on Tea, Toast & Trivia. It was a wonderful experience and I look forward to our next conversation! ☺️

Liked by 4 people

Thank you Elisabeth for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and experience. I am looking forward to our next podcasting session. I have been practicing pronouncing Turgenev. I love this quote “If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” Ivan Turgenev. We are working on this side to see if we can add more clarity to the voices. We have embraced the beginning and that is the first step. With warmest appreciation, Rebecca

Liked by 2 people

Thank you so much! I really enjoyed my guest appearance on your podcast, thank you for being a perfect host! I look forward to discussing Turgenev with you ☺️☺️☺️

Liked by 2 people

I’m looking forward to Turgenev! I think I have the right pronunciation. Just found this quote: “We sit in the mud, my friend, and reach for the stars.” Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons. Looking forward to reaching for the stars in a new year and new decade 2020!!!


Rebecca, how lovely your podcast is going international and covering continents. I’m heading over to listen to you and Elizabeth but just wanted to say how touched I was with this introduction. Pasternak’s quote is so true … it is the only way to really live life! Hugs across the pond. Xx ❤️

Liked by 4 people

Thank you so much for your heartwarming comments. I am grateful for writers – they give voice to our stories, to our time. We may become a memory but our stories live on… Hugs coming back across the pond! Have a wonderful week.

Liked by 4 people

Oh what a delightful and adventurous podcast! I too enjoy Russian literature, and film. I have bookmarked Elisabeth’s blog-website and look forward to reading her notes for the several works I’ve read. I can recommend 2 excellent recent books. “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles (fiction) which I know you’ll enjoy and”Secondhand Time” by Svetlana Alexievich (non-fiction) which isn’t enjoyable but an indispensable history told in the form of interviews detailing the transition from the USSR to modern Russia. Thanks again for another unique podcast. Hugs!

Liked by 3 people

I am delighted that you enjoyed the podcast. Thank you for the introduction to the books. I ran out and purchased “A Gentleman in Moscow.” I love the title and from all the reviews I know this book will be a page-turner. I tried to find “Secondhand Time” but alas, that one is not that easy to find. I went to the Vancouver Public Library and found “Last Witnesses” by Svetlana Alexievich. I have a hold on and the wait time is 13 weeks (yikes) – very popular writer! Now, I am more determined than ever to find Secondhand Time. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement of our conversations. We all appreciate your comments and visits! Many hugs coming your way.

Liked by 3 people

Excellent podcast! You guys had such a happy time. The history behind the novel is as interesting as the novel itself.
I’m off to Elisabeth’s blog!
“Across the miles, so far apart
More important, close at heart.”

Liked by 4 people

How wonderful to hear this wonderful conversation between you both. Dr Zhivago is one of my all time favourite books. I have also been gathering in all the marvellous book recommendations that have come up as a result. I love the sound of The Secrets We Kept, and the other titles highlighted by my fellow commentators. You see what you have started!! I think you and I have chatted before about The Zhivago Affair by Peter Finn in which he writes brilliantly about the amazing publication story which you and Elisabeth touch on – its a great read. I can also recommend Lara: The Untold Story by Anna Pasternak (the grand-niece of Boris). Meanwhile, I look forward to more episodes with Elisabeth about all the riches that Russian literature has to offer! Hugs xxx

Liked by 2 people

You will love “The Secrets We Kept”. I found it on Audible and have enjoyed listening to the way in which the narrators are able to use accents to add life to the story. You have inspired me to look into novels. For a while, I was focused on non-fiction, but I now realize that I have denied myself the full extent of reading. Thank you, my dear friend. When we visit you in the coming year, let’s connect with Elisabeth on a podcast. What a wonderful conversation that would be – over tea, of course. P.S. I just found Anna Pasternak’s book and have now in my library. Hugs coming to you over the pond!

Liked by 2 people

I enjoyed listening to the history of Dr. Zhivago, which I read years ago and found quite disappointing because the prose was very clunky. It was one of those reading experiences when I wished I could have read it in the original. I couldn’t help but think that the translation I read wasn’t as well-done as perhaps others have been?

Liked by 1 person

A great thought! I did a little research and what I found so far, is that there were two translations 1) Manya Harari and Max Hayward translation 2) Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation. It seems that the second translation is the best. I must find out more!!

Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.