First published in the West in 1924, We is an adventurous story of the future nameless "numbers," the two-tenths of the world's population that survived the Great Two Hundred Years War. Their food is derived from petroleum, and they believe that their totally restricted existence under the watchful eye of the Benefactor is the ideal. They do not mourn the passing of the creative human spirit; indeed, they are hardly aware it ever existed. More than half a century later, We remains a strange and telling tragicomedy of love and death. The author, an acknowledged satirist in his own right, set the stage for Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984.
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Before Brave New World... Before 1984... There was We
In the One State of the great Benefactor, there are no individuals, only numbers. Life is an ongoing process of mathematical precision, a perfectly balanced equation. Primitive passions and instincts have been subdued. Even nature has been defeated, banished behind the Green Wall. But one frontier remains: outer space. Now, with the creation of the spaceship Integral, that frontier -- and whatever alien species are to be found there -- will be subjugated to the beneficent yoke of reason.
One number, D-503, chief architect of the Integral, decides to record his thoughts in the final days before the launch for the benefit of less advanced societies. But a chance meeting with the beautiful 1-330 results in an unexpected discovery that threatens everything D-503 believes about himself and the One State. The discovery -- or rediscovery -- of inner space...and that disease the ancients called the soul.
A page-turning SF adventure, a masterpiece of wit and black humor that accurately predicted the horrors of Stalinism, WE is the classic dystopian novel. Its message of hope and warning is as timely at the end of the twentieth century as it was at the beginning.About the Author:
Yevgeny Ivanovich 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. 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 is the author of several works on the Russian poetOsip Mandelstam. He is editor of The Portable Twentieth-Century RussianReader, which contains his translation of Zamyatin’s short story “TheCave,” and of Yury Olesha’s novel Enpy.
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Descrizione libro Gregg Press, Boston, 1975. Octavo, cloth. Later edition. Reprint of the 1952 Dutton reissue of the 1924 edition. Translated from the Russian by Gregory Zilboorg with introductory material by Peter Rudy, Marc Slonim and Gregory Zilboorg, and afterword by Vasa D. Mihailovich. "Over a half-century since its appearance, the novel WE remains one of the most exciting and influential works of science fiction. Its basic plot, whereby a true believer comes to question the validity of a totalitarian state and thus to transform it from a utopia into an anti-utopia, has been repeated by Aldous Huxley in BRAVE NEW WORLD (1932), George Orwell in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (1949) and by any number of epigones; yet its artistry, prophetic power, and underlying philosophy have not been surpassed." - Survey of Science Fiction Literature V, pp. 2433-41. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 2-177; (1981) 2-131; (1987) 2-147; (1995) 2-157; and (2004) II-1302. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 2450. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 838. Clarke, Tale of the Future (1978), p. 189. Lewis, Utopian Literature, pp. 217-20. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 1226. Bleiler (1978), p. 214. Reginald 15754. A fine copy without dust jacket as issued. (#156438). Codice libro della libreria 156438