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We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We (1920)

by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,404141803 (3.88)1 / 367
  1. 260
    1984 by George Orwell (soylentgreen23, roby72, timoroso, MEStaton, 2810michael)
    timoroso: Zamyatin's "We" was not just a precursor of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" but the work Orwell took as a model for his own book.
  2. 230
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (tehran)
    tehran: Brave New World was largely inspired by Zamyatin's We.
  3. 50
    Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia by Alexander Bogdanov (leigonj)
    leigonj: As We (1920) is anti-communist Russian science fiction, Red Star (1908) is pro-communist Russian science fiction. They are equally superb.
  4. 20
    Aelita by Alexei Tolstoy (DuneSherban)
    DuneSherban: While thematically distinct from We, Aelita shares its problematic view of early Soviet society, and can also be read as a discourse on totalitarian society, revolution and Bolshevism (published originally in 1923).
  5. 20
    Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson (hippietrail)
    hippietrail: an even earlier dystopia novel from 1908
  6. 20
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (myshelves, VictoriaPL)
    myshelves: Dystopian novel.
  7. 00
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (Oct326, catherinedarley)
  8. 00
    Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin (2810michael)
  9. 212
    Anthem by Ayn Rand (myshelves)
    myshelves: Dystopian novel. Wikipedia says: "Ayn Rand's Anthem (1938) has several major similarities to We, although it is stylistically and thematically different."

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English (136)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (141)
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
A seminal science fiction work of a totalitarian society. Very enjoyable and easy to see the massive impact it has had on subsequent works. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jun 2, 2017 |
We is a dystopian novel set in the far future. The hero, D-503, is a true believer in the all-encompassing state:

"How pleasant it was to feel someone's vigilant eye lovingly protecting you from the slightest misstep. Sentimental as it may sound, that same analogy came into my head again: the 'guardian angel' as imagined by the Ancients. How much has materialized in our lives that they only ever imagined."

When D-503 meets and comes under the influence of I-330, an underground dissident, his world begins to fall apart, as he questions life as he has always known it.

This book was interesting to me as an intellectual challenge. I read it because it is on the 1001 list. It is historically important (it was the first book banned by the Soviet Union), and extremely influential on later novels, such as 1984. However, I never became immersed in the story, or felt as one with the characters, as I did in 1984, with Winston and Julia. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Apr 24, 2017 |
Not usually a genre I read (sci-fi/dystopian). But, I was compelled to read with a couple others (on Litsy), We , because it was supposed to be a precursor and/or inspiration for 1984, which I had recently finished reading.

We was banned in CCCP until 1988 because of the novel's assumed criticism of the government. There's a lot of colorful and descriptive prose which at times felt very satirical.

We seems to have influenced other works as well, not just 1984. I was somewhat reminded at times of Anthem by Ayn Rand while reading.

My translation was the one by Clarence Brown; there has been several translated versions over the years and one may want to research (maybe by "looking inside the book" on amazon) before deciding on one to read. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Mar 13, 2017 |
I have to admit this isn't my favorite book genre (about a futuristic dystopian society), but it was one of the very first, written back in the 1920s. It's very cleverly done, written in journal form as D-503 experiences new things, unusual in the regulated life of the One State. His writing is funny without meaning to be (he has so little perspective), and we are plunged into his life with as little understanding as he has. ( )
1 vote Connie-D | Jan 17, 2017 |
I bought the audiobook earlier this year and Grover Gardner gave his typically excellent narration. However, I find science fiction sometimes difficult to process in audiobook form and after starting this I decided I did need to have a copy of the text, so I borrowed the Kindle book from the library. The Kindle edition turned out to be a different translation but it was close enough for my purposes. Of the two translations, I had a slight preference for Brown's but they were both good. I did also appreciate the foreword in the audiobook by Brown about the history of this book & how he came to doing this translation, more so after I had finished the book. This is the sort of thing I typically skip when reading but since it wasn't labelled as an introduction or foreword, I got 'tricked' into listening to itand am glad I did (though I do think it should have been labelled rather than being called 'chapter one'!).

As for the book itself, I could see why the U.S.S.R. refused to publish it back in 1921 even though in the end the government, OneState, wins out over the 'counterrevolutionaries' in a somewhat heartbreaking ending. It is tempting to compare the fictional OneState to the old Soviet Union but in fact I feel that its attempt at creating perfect happiness (at the expense of freedom and imagination) could have arisen anywhere. And I found the question of which is preferable - happiness or imagination - extremely difficult to answer personally even when I felt the answer for society as a whole was clearly imagination. Of course, what I would like is to have both!! But that wasn't one of the options... ( )
1 vote leslie.98 | Sep 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zamyatin, Yevgenyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aplin, HughTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, ClarenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drohla, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginsburg, MirraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glenny, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lo Gatto, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mills, RussellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Randall, NatashaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siegel, HaroldCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sillitoe, AlanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zilboorg, GregoryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed


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I am merely copying out here, word for word, what was printed today in the State Gazette: In 120 days from now the building of the INTEGRAL will be finished.
The effect of that woman on me was as unpleasant as a displaced irrational number that has accidentally crept into an equation.
There is no final revolution.  Revolutions are infinite.
I do not want anyone to want for me--I want to want for myself.
I shall attempt nothing more than to note down what I see, what I think - or, to be more exact, what we think (that's right: we, and let this WE be the title of these records). But this, surely, will be a derivative of our life, of the mathematically perfect life of OneState, and if that is so, then won't this be, of its own accord, whatever I may wish, an epic?
A human being is like a novel: until the last page you don't know how it will end. Or it wouldn't be worth reading...."
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Book description
The first dystopia ever, it started asking uncomfortable questions about individuals, collectives, revolutions, progress — and the collectives’ rights to individuals’ souls in the name of revolutions and progress.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140185852, Paperback)

A seminal work of dystopian fiction that 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. This "Penguin Classics" edition is translated from the Russian with an introduction by Clarence Brown. 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. Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval engineer by profession and writer by vocation, who made himself an enemy of the Tsarist government by being a Bolshevik, and an enemy of the Soviet government by insisting that human beings have absolute creative freedom. 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. If you enjoyed "We", you might like George Orwell's "1984", also available in "Penguin Classics". "The best single work of science fiction yet written". (Ursula K. LeGuin, author of "The Left Hand of Darkness"). "It is in effect a study of the Machine, the genie that man has thoughtlessly let out of its bottle and cannot put back again". (George Orwell, author of "1984").

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Written in 1921, We is set in the One State, where all live for the collective good and individual freedom does not exist. The novel takes the form of the diary of mathematician D-503, who, to his shock, experiences the most disruptive emotion imaginable: love. At once satirical and sobering - and now available in a powerful new translation - We is both a rediscovered classic and a work of tremendous relevance to our own times."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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