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Dr Zhivago - references to Moscow

Lara, and her mother and brother move to Moscow and the region around the Belorussia Station (referred to as the Brest railway). Her mother uses her inheritance from a husband to buy a dressmaking establishment : 'this was Levitskaya's dressmaking establishment near the Triumphal Arch'. The Triumphal Arch was demolished in the 1930's but later erected on the Kutuzovsky Prospekt adjacent to the Victory Park commemorating the Second World War.

They live in a flat adjoining the workshop : 'this was the most sordid part of Moscow - slums, shady dives, the haunts of likhachi and whole streets given up to vice' (lihachi being some sort of shady taxi-driver). 'The workshop was in a single-storeyed house near the corner of Tverskaya Street, in a quarter invaded by the Brest railway with its engine depots, warehouses and lodgings for the clerks'.

In October 1905 a demonstration in support of striking railway workers was organized - from the Tver Gate to the Kaluga Gate, which is described.

Komarovsky had a third floor flat on the Ulitsa Petrovka. 'The Petrovka seemed a corner of Petersburg mislaid in Moscow. The matching houses on both sides of the street, the quiet ornaments of the facaeds, the bookshop, the library, the cartographer, the good tobacconist, the good restaurant, its front floor flanked by two round frosted gas-lamps on massive brackets, all helped to create the impression'.

As Lara lies il in a rented rom on the Arbat, she remebers when she first arived in Moscow (from Yuriatin) : They were driving in a cab from the station, through gloomy alleys to the hotel at the other end of the town. ... ..... The eighty score bells of Moscow clanged in the darkness overhead and the trams rang their bells as they scurried through the streets, but Lara was also deafened by the lights and the shop fronts, as if they were too noisy like the wheels and bells.

As Yuri returns home from the war : Hardly had Yuri noticed it when the church of Christ the Savior showed over the rim of the hill, and a moment later the domes, chimneys, rofs and houses of the city

And as he nears home : But in fact it was late afternon when his cab slowly made its way from the station through the dense crowd in Smolensky Square.

Whether it was so inded, or Yury's memories were overlaid by the experience of other years, it seemed to him when he recalle later that evne then the crowd hung about the market only by habit, that laready there was no reason for it to be there, because the stals were covered up and not even locked and there was nothing to buy or sell in the littered square which nobody swept.

And it semed to him that already he saw, shrinking against the walls, thin, decently dresed old men and women, who stod like a silent reproach to the pasers-by, wordlesly ofering what no one neded - artificial flowers, cofe percolators with glas lids and whistles, black net evening dreses and uniforms of ofices that had ben abolished.

Simpler people traded in more useful things: spiky crusts of stale rationed black bread, damp, dirty chunks of sugar, and ounce packets of coarse tobaco cut in half right acros the label.

This unbelievable rubish went al around the market, going up in price as it changed hands.

After Zhivago joins up with Marina : Yury and Marina were now living in Spiridonovka Stret and Gordon had a rom in Brony Stret near by. Marina and Yury had two daughters, Kapka, who was six years old, and the baby Klazhka, who was only six months.

And at the end (in the scene which was re-writen for the film) : One morning at the end of August Yury took the tram in Gazetny Street to go to the Botkin Hospital (known as the Soldatenko Hospital in those days); it was his first day at his new job.

He had no luck with his tram; it had a defective motor and kept getting into trouble of every sort. Either its way was blocked by a cart in front of it with its wheels caught in the grooves of the rails, or the insulation went wrong on the roof or under the floor, and the current short-circuited with a flash and a crackle.

The driver would step off the front platform, walk round the tram with a spanner, and squat down and tinker with the machinery be­tween the rear platform and the wheels.

The wretched tram blocked the traffic all along the line. The whole street was dammed up with other trams which had already been stopped, and still others kept joining the queue as far back as the square of the Manège and beyond. Passengers moved from the back to the front of the queue, hoping to gain time, and got into the very car which was the cause of all the trouble. It was a hot morning and the car was crowded and airless. Above the crowds running about in the street from one tram to another, a dark lilac thunder cloud was creeping higher and higher up the sky. A storm was gathering.

Yury sat on a single seat on the left, pressed against the window. He could see the left side of Nikita Street, the side of the Conservatoire. With the vague attention of a man thinking of something else, he watched the people walking and driving past on that side, missing no one.

A grey-haired old lady, in a light straw hat with linen daisies and cornflowers and a tight old-fashioned lilac dress, was trudging along the pavement, panting and .fanning herself with a flat parcel which she carried in her hand. Tightly corseted, exhausted by the heat and pouring with sweat, she kept dabbing her lips and eyebrows with a small lace handkerchief.

Her course lay parallel with that of the tram. Yury had already lost sight of her several times, as the tram had started up after a stoppage for repairs and passed her, and she had again come into his field of vision, when it broke down once more and she overtook it.

Yury thought of the conundrums in school arithmetic, in which you are asked how soon and in what order trains, starting at different times and going at different speeds, arrive at their destination ; he tried to remember the general method of solving them, but it escaped him, and he went on from these school memories to others, and to still more complicated speculations.

He thought of several people whose lives run parallel and close together but at different speeds, and wondered in what circumstances some of them would overtake and survive others. Something like a theory of relativity applied to a human race-course occurred to him, but he got completely muddled and gave it up.

There was a flash of lightning and a roll of thunder. The luckless tram was stuck for the twentieth time ; it had stopped half-way down the hill from Kudrinsky Street to the Zoo. The lady in lilac appeared in the window-frame, passed beyond it and moved on. The first heavy drops of rain fell on the roadway, the pavement and the lady. A gusty wind whipped past the trees, flapped the leaves, gave a tug at the lady's hat, turned up the hem of her skirt and suddenly died down.

Yury felt sick and faint. Overcoming his weakness, he got up and jerked the window straps up and down trying to open the window. But he could not move it.

People shouted to him that the window was blocked, it was nailed in position, but Yury, fighting off his faintness and seized by a sort of panic, neither understood the cries nor referred them to himself. He was still trying to open the window and again gave three sharp tugs at the strap—up, down and towards himself—when he suddenly felt a new and mortal pain ; he understood that something had broken in him, he had done something irreparable and that this was the end. At this moment the tram started, but it had only gone a short way down Presnya Street when it stopped again.

By an inhuman effort of the will, Yury pushed through the solid crowd down the gangway, swaying and stumbling, and came out on the rear platform; people blocked his way and snapped at him. The fresh air seemed to revive him and he thought that perhaps not everything was lost, perhaps he was better.

He began to squeeze his way through the crush on the rear plat­form, provoking more snarls, curses and kicks. He paid no attention ,to them, tore himself free of the crowd, climbed down from the station­ary tram into the roadway, took a step, another, a third, fell down on the cobbles and did not get up again.

There arose a hubbub of talk, arguments, advice. Several people got off the tram and surrounded him. They soon ascertained that he was no longer breathing: his heart had stopped. The group round the body was joined by others who stepped off the pavements, some relieved and others disappointed that the dead man had not been run over and that his death had nothing to do with the tram. The crowd grew larger. The lady in lilac came up too, stood a little, looked at the body, listened to the talk and went on. She was a foreigner, but she understood that some people were in favor of putting the body on the tram and taking it to the hospital, while others said that the militia should be called at once. She did not wait to see the outcome.

The lady in lilac was a Swiss national, she was Mademoiselle Fleury from Melyuzeyevo, and was by now very, very old. For twelve years she had been writing to the authorities in Moscow for permission to return to her native country, and quite recently her application had been granted. She had come to Moscow for her exit visa and was now on the way to her embassy to collect it, fanning herself as she went with her documents, which were done up in a bundle and tied with a ribbon. So she walked on, overtaking the tram for the tenth time, and quite unaware that she had overtaken Zhivago and survived him.