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Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884–1937)

Author of We

85+ Works 9,106 Members 225 Reviews 33 Favorited

About the Author

Zamyatin studied at the Polytechnic Institute in St. Petersburg and became a professional naval engineer. His first story appeared in 1908, and he became serious about writing in 1913, when his short novel A Provincial Tale (1913) was favorably received. He became part of the neorealist group, show more which included Remizov and Prishvin. During World War I, he supervised the construction of icebreakers in England for the Russian government. After his return home, he published two satiric works about English life, "The Islanders" (1918) and "The Fisher of Men" (1922). During the civil war and the early 1920s, Zamyatin published theoretical essays as well as fiction. He played a central role in many cultural activities---as an editor, organizer, and teacher of literary technique---and had an important influence on younger writers, such as Olesha and Ivanov. Zamyatin's prose after the Revolution involved extensive use of ellipses, color symbolism, and elaborate chains of imagery. It is exemplified in such well-known stories as "Mamai" (1921) and "The Cage" (1922). His best-known work is the novel We (1924), a satiric, futuristic tale of a dystopia that was a plausible extrapolation from early twentieth-century social and political trends. The book, which directly influenced George Orwell's (see Vol. 1) 1984, 1984, was published abroad in several translations during the 1920s. In 1927 a shortened Russian version appeared in Prague, and the violent press campaign that followed led to Zamyatin's resignation from a writers' organization and, eventually, to his direct appeal to Stalin for permission to leave the Soviet Union. This being granted in 1931, Zamyatin settled in Paris, where he continued to work until his death. Until glasnost he was unpublished and virtually unknown in Russia. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

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Works by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We (1921) — Author — 8,563 copies, 217 reviews
The Dragon: Fifteen Stories (1966) 163 copies, 2 reviews
L'inondation (1929) 46 copies, 3 reviews
Teken van leven (1980) 22 copies
The Fisher of Men (1978) 16 copies
Cartas a Stalin (1990) 12 copies
Seul (1990) 9 copies
A godforsaken hole (1988) 6 copies
Attila the Hun (1979) 6 copies
Russie (1996) 5 copies
Le Fléau de Dieu (2006) 4 copies
Les insulaires / province (1983) 4 copies
ICS 4 copies
Racconti (2021) 3 copies
The Cave 3 copies
Wir: Hörspiel (2 CDs) (2015) 2 copies
Navala Apelor 2 copies
Sever (1993) 2 copies
Elektrik (2015) 1 copy
Spotkanie 1 copy
Nós 1 copy
Ние 1 copy
Province (2013) 1 copy
A casa del diavolo (2012) 1 copy
Le Métier littéraire (1984) 1 copy
God 1 copy
Мы Роман (1991) 1 copy
The Cave 1 copy, 1 review
Сочинения (1988) 1 copy
Сказки 1 copy
In provincia (1990) 1 copy
La Caverne (2017) 1 copy

Associated Works

75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World's Literature (1961) — Contributor — 300 copies, 1 review
Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida (2005) — Contributor — 223 copies, 2 reviews
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contributor — 152 copies, 3 reviews
The Fatal Eggs and Other Soviet Satire (1965) — Contributor — 127 copies
The Utopia Reader (1999) — Contributor — 113 copies, 1 review
Great Soviet Short Stories (1962) — Contributor — 78 copies
1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution (2016) — Contributor — 36 copies, 3 reviews
Sense of Wonder: A Century of Science Fiction (2011) — Contributor — 32 copies
14 Great Short Stories By Soviet Authors (1959) — Contributor — 15 copies
Skaz: Masters of Russian Storytelling (2014) — Contributor — 5 copies
Russische Käuze (1968) — Contributor — 2 copies
7 Novel Dystopian Collection — Contributor — 1 copy
Yevgeny Zamyatin - We [radio play] (2004) — Original author — 1 copy
ロシア短篇24 (現代の世界文学) (1987) — Contributor — 1 copy


1001 (46) 1001 books (34) 1920s (34) 20th century (145) anthology (101) classic (77) classics (102) dystopia (681) dystopian (190) dystopian fiction (33) ebook (45) fantasy (55) fiction (1,006) Folio Society (30) Kindle (36) literature (194) novel (175) own (38) paperback (31) politics (37) read (105) Russia (289) Russian (373) Russian fiction (48) Russian literature (432) satire (42) science fiction (1,020) Science Fiction/Fantasy (29) sf (150) short stories (201) Soviet Union (66) speculative fiction (42) to-read (861) totalitarianism (104) translated (39) translation (102) unread (68) utopia (52) wishlist (36) Zamyatin (33)

Common Knowledge



We by Zamiatin in Fans of Russian authors (August 2011)


Was not big fan of the whole diary point of view of telling the story, did not care about the romance at all, the constant description of lips weirded me out, the math talk by the protagonist was just really annoying

Out of the 3 Dystopian novels this is the strongest one but still these Dystopian novels are pretty annoying to read, maybe 1984 would do it but I doubt that.
Kek9 | 216 other reviews | Jul 12, 2024 |
Over the last two or three weeks, I’ve read three dystopian novels, each depicting society in different ways. The common thread connecting them is the loss of individuality, reduction in human thought, coupled with complete control by an unknown master, or set of masters.
“We” preceded “Brave New World” and “1984.” Banned in Russia, it gained a cult following in the West for its portrayal of a dystopian world in which citizens are only ciphers. The ‘United State’ has taken over the world, and a God-like dictator called ‘the Benefactor’ rules, using a team of people called ‘the Guardians’ to control people.
The Benefactor and the Guardians desire citizens’ interests to always be subservient to the state’s needs, even eliminating their names, privacy, and emotional relationships. Our hero is D-503, his assigned sexual partner ‘is O-90, and life seems perfect. Free will does not exist, with the state regulates your time to the minute. Everyone lives in rooms without privacy (unless they engage in pre-scheduled sex, when the curtains come down). D-503 is a mathematician, building the state’s spaceship, the Integral. The Benefactor intends to conquer the universe, and encourages the ciphers to write journals, to prove to the residents of other planets that the way of the United State is superior to all other ways of living.
Trouble starts when D-503 meets a woman called I-330, who flirts with him, pushes him to have a passionate affair with her, and then takes him to a place called ‘the Ancient Room.’ She soon reveals that she belongs to an organization called ‘MEPHI.’ The plan is for her, and D-503 to hijack the Integral, and free the untamed, hairy people living beyond ‘the Green Wall.’
I will stop here.
The book is short and written in the of a diary. D-503 calls each entry a ‘record’, and forty records comprise the telling of the tale. Yevgeny wrote the book in the style of ‘stream of consciousness’ writing, which suits the story perfectly. We gaze deep into the mind of D-503, as he wrestles with his conflicting desires for I-330 and his regulated life.
Who wins in the end? Does D-503 succumb to the state, and a mindless life controlled by an implacable dictator, or does he escape to freedom? Every totalitarian state wants to stamp out every form of individual freedom, even free thought. The ‘stream of consciousness’ style may disturb many readers because it does not fit the norms of smooth narrative. Yet, a discerning reader will identify with this style because it mirrors the way our brains work, especially in a frenzy.
Read this brilliant, disturbing book, then read ‘Brave New World’ and ‘1984.’
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RajivC | 216 other reviews | Jul 10, 2024 |
The forerunner of both A Brave New World and 1984. It has great atmospehere, and some great questions and thoughts, but it's way simpler and less deep than those two masterpieces, so i wouldn't consider it essential reading as those two. You can definetly feel it's outdated.
yellowdaniel | 216 other reviews | Jun 26, 2024 |
I'm not sure what to make of this. Written in the 1920s, it is set in a future state that gas become entirely isolated from nature. People are denoted by a letter/number code and all activities are timed and regulated by the state. All buildingsaremade of glass, for the easier observation by the state police, or guardians. Time is so regulated that even personal relations are by way of pink slips. The narrator is a mathematical minded man, and is the builder of the Integral, which seems to be a rocket. At the start he has pink slips with O, but he meet I330 one day and she takes a pink slip out for him. Both of the women display a different rebellious streak, one on a personal level, one trying to overthrow the state itself. Its a book that raises more questions than answers. Any number of times I paused and tried to puzzle out how what yhe author described could come to pass. It is also still a political scenario that doesn't feel impossible. Banned in tha author's native Russia at the time, it feels now like a warning of what the West could become, in part at least.
It served as inspiration for Orwell's 1984. This feels more innocent, somehow.
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Helenliz | 216 other reviews | Jun 19, 2024 |



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