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4.5 

We

By Yevgeny Zamyatin and Clarence Brown and Clarence Brown and Clarence Brown and Masha Gessen
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin and Clarence Brown and Clarence Brown and Clarence Brown and Masha Gessen digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

The exhilarating dystopian novel that inspired George Orwell's 1984 and foreshadowed the worst excesses of Soviet Russia

Yevgeny Zamyatin's We is a powerfully inventive vision that has influenced writers from George Orwell to Ayn Rand. In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful 'Benefactor', the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity - until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul. Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, We is the classic dystopian novel and was the forerunner of works such as George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. It was suppressed for many years in Russia and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom, yet is also a powerful, exciting and vivid work of science fiction. Clarence Brown's brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years' suppression.

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12 Reviews

4.5
“ੈ✩‧₊˚ we ੈ✩‧₊˚ yevgeny zamyatin ੈ✩‧₊˚ 4.25★ ੈ✩‧₊˚ ❝there is no final one; revolutions are infinite.❞ ੈ✩‧₊˚ genres: dystopian plot: 5★ world building: 5★ main characters: 4★ side characters: 3★ writing: 4★ pacing: 4★ ending: 3★ emotional impact: 3★ originality: 5★ dystopian execution: 5★ overall enjoyment: 5★ epilogue: no cliffhanger: no happy ending: no loved: ‧₊˚the science and math references (sorry im a nerd) ‧₊˚i-330 (my feminist icon) ‧₊˚d-503’s character arc hated: ‧₊˚not really anything overall review: ‧₊˚before reading this i expected this to be another boring book i had to read for class- in no way was i expecting to love this. yes, the math/science references may make me a little bias, but i just loved the writing in this book. d-503 had me going through every emotion. i hated him, i love him, i felt bad for him, i laughed at him. i love books that also give a social commentary on specific things in history (ex: russian revolution). there was just so much i loved about this book the imagery, the symbolism, the characters. i just didn’t care for the ending that much and its such a shame zamyatin could’ve done so many endings and he chose that? just feeling a little bit betrayed. zamyatin has earned his place as my second favorite russian author with this book alone (leo tolstoy remains first as he should- anna karenina is a masterpiece). also for my dystopian politics class, i wrote a paper on feminism, this book, and 19-20th century russia and it’s one of my favorite papers i’ve ever written. also if you can please read this before 1984, you can without a doubt see where orwell got his inspiration from!”

About Yevgeny Zamyatin

Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval architect by profession and a writer by nature. His favorite idea was the absolute freedom of the human personality to create, to imagine, to love, to make mistakes, and to change the world. This made him a highly inconvenient citizen of two despotisms, the tsarist and the Communist, both of which exiled him—the first for a year, the latter forever. He wrote short stories, plays, and essays, but his masterpiece is We, written in 1920–21 and soon thereafter translated into most of the languages of the world, yet it first appeared in Russia only in 1988. It is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-utopia; a great prose poem on the fate that might befall all of us if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. George Orwell, the author of 1984, acknowledged his debt to Zamyatin. The other great English dystopia of our time, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, was evidently written out of the same impulse, though without direct knowledge of Zamyatin’s We.

Clarence Brown (translator/introducer; 1929-2015) was the editor of The Portable Twentieth-Century Russian Reader, which contains his translation of Zamyatin's short story "The Cave."

Masha Gessen (foreword) is the author of more than ten books, including the National Book Award-winning The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia and The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. A staff writer at The New Yorker and the recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim and Carnegie fellowships, Gessen teaches at Bard College and lives in New York City.

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