Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The latest book I've read is We by Yevgeny Zamyatin and translated from the Russian by Mirra Ginsburg. My paperback copy of We is 232 pages long. I enjoyed We, but believe that another translation might have been more enjoyable. There were sections where I'm assuming the translation made sentences feel a bit disjointed and it distracted from the actual storyline. My copy was from 1980 and there are new translations available now.

From Amazon:
“[Zamyatin’s] intuitive grasp of the irrational side of totalitarianism– human sacrifice, cruelty as an end in itself–makes [We] superior to Huxley’s [Brave New World].”
–George Orwell

An inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984 and a precursor to the work of Philip K. Dick and Stanislaw Lem, We is a classic of dystopian science fiction ripe for rediscovery. Written in 1921 by the Russian revolutionary Yevgeny Zamyatin, this story of the thirtieth century is set in the One State, a society where all live for the collective good and individual freedom does not exist. The novel takes the form of the diary of state mathematician D-503, who, to his shock, experiences the most disruptive emotion imaginable: love for another human being.
At once satirical and sobering...We speaks to all who have suffered under repression of their personal and artistic freedom."

"The underlying themes of conformity vs. freedom and 'the state' vs. the individual still have great contemporary significance."

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