20 FEBRUARY 1959, Page 8

LAST WEEK the Daily Mail published on its front page

with a good deal of jubilation a new poem by Pasternak entitled 'The Nobel Prize,' which its reporter, Anthony Brown, received from him in the course of a three-hour interview in Moscow. The new poem was literally translated, the Mail told us, by 'one of the best poetry translators available in London yesterday' (a description worthy of the Home Secretary himself), and was presented as evidence that Pasternak was still struggling with 'individual members of the Soviet. Government.' Saturday's New York Herald Tribune added a large footnote to the story. It seems that Pasternak regards the publication of the poem as a betrayal of trust on the grounds that it had been given to Mr. Brown for delivery to a friend in Paris and not—for obvious reasons —for publication at all. He said, very bitterly, Using 'unprintable words,' that he will talk to no more journalists. Who can blame him? Hardly the Daily Mail. Al any rate it seems to have found these developments fairly unprintable themselves. So far not a word of explanation has appeared.