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KiWi Taschenbücher, Nr.49, Wir: Mit dem…
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KiWi Taschenbücher, Nr.49, Wir: Mit dem Essay 'Über die… (original 1920; edition 1984)

by Jewgenij Samjatin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,9771821,002 (3.86)1 / 446
Set in the twenty-sixth century A.D., Yevgeny Zamyatin's masterpiece describes life under the regimented totalitarian society of OneState, ruled over by the all-powerful "Benefactor." Recognized as the inspiration for George Orwell's 1984, We is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-Utopia: a great prose poem detailing the fate that might befall us all if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. 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.… (more)
Member:Jisi
Title:KiWi Taschenbücher, Nr.49, Wir: Mit dem Essay 'Über die Literatur und die Revolution'
Authors:Jewgenij Samjatin
Info:Kiepenheuer & Witsch (1984), Taschenbuch, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

We: A Novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin (Author) (1920)

  1. 271
    Nineteen Eighty-Four 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. 250
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (tehran)
    tehran: Brave New World was largely inspired by Zamyatin's We.
  3. 60
    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. 30
    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. 30
    Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson (hippietrail)
    hippietrail: an even earlier dystopia novel from 1908
  6. 30
    This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (myshelves, VictoriaPL)
    myshelves: Dystopian novel.
  7. 00
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (sturlington)
  8. 00
    Kallocain by Karin Boye (Oct326, catherinedarley)
  9. 00
    Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin (2810michael)
  10. 213
    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."
Walls (3)
1920s (29)
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» See also 446 mentions

English (174)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (181)
Showing 1-5 of 174 (next | show all)
Written in the years following the Russian Revolution by a dissident, who was exiled, this short novel is about a futuristic society where communism reigns. The main character D-503 is a mathematician, working on the construction of a spaceship, the Integral, which will carry the wonderful benefits of "The One State" to other plants. Everything is fine until I-330 (females have vowel designations whereas males have consonants) stirs feelings of love, imagination and dreams, which are deemed a sickness, curable by the Operation. As I was reading this book, it seemed to me to be more of a political critique (a la Ayn Rand) than a science fiction story (George Orwell or Aldous Huxley), even though the book is considered in the latter genre. My rating oscillated between a 2.5 and a 4, settling finally on a 3. Much credit is due to translator Natasha Randall. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
We, written by Yevgeny Zamyatin and translated by Bela Shayevich, is a classic of dystopian literature yet also one that is still sometimes overlooked. I first encountered it in a Dystopian Literature course in the early 90s and it was the only work in the class that I had not at least heard of if not read. And, sadly, I was not in the minority.

I found the translation here to be very good. I don't know Russian so I can't speak to that aspect, but I think Shayevich captured the flow and tone of the work as well as any translation I've read, and better than at least one of them. If you haven't read this novel, this is a good edition to grab. If you have read it and want to revisit it, this edition should please you.

The novel itself aside, I found the additional pieces by Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, and Ursula K Le Guin make the work well worth adding to your library even if you have another edition. In particular, Le Guin's essay is excellent as a standalone essay, touching on several important topics as they relate to this novel.

While the novel spoke to a very specific place and time, it still reverberates for today's reader. Likewise Le Guin's essay, written in the early 70s, could easily have been written for today's world. The essay is in one of her books if you want to read more of her nonfiction work.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Jun 14, 2021 |
Somewhat boring to read at times, but worth it. The ideas are interesting to meditate upon. The world of this book seems like somewhere between modern day and Brave New World. Things don't seem to be as bad as the latter, but do seem to be heading in a similar direction. I especially liked the protagonist's attempts to understand his own and other's human behaviour through mathematics. Logically, it makes sense to allow them to operate upon you, and have eternal bliss, but there is clearly more to being a human than logic. Another thing that I noticed here, and in BNW too, is how there are times when the protagonist just years to have a mother "as the ancients had", because a mother is the only one who loves a man for himself, for almost everyone else one can give the argument that they love one because they are the chief engineer of the Integral.
  Sebuktegin | May 25, 2021 |
Es, a todas luces. un clásico. Percursor de Un mundo felíz. ( )
  franhuer | May 20, 2021 |
I never heard of it before. Reading it felt like what I imagine reading Necromancer must be like to a cyberpunk fan who's read 100s of modern cyberpunk novels. ( )
1 vote Paul_S | Mar 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 174 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (146 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zamyatin, YevgenyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aplin, HughTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, ClarenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chwast, SeymourCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drohla, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
香男里, 川端Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginsburg, MirraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glenny, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lo Gatto, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mills, RussellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Randall, NatashaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russell, KitIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siegel, HaroldCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sillitoe, AlanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zilboorg, GregoryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
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.
Quotations
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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Wikipedia in English (1)

Set in the twenty-sixth century A.D., Yevgeny Zamyatin's masterpiece describes life under the regimented totalitarian society of OneState, ruled over by the all-powerful "Benefactor." Recognized as the inspiration for George Orwell's 1984, We is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-Utopia: a great prose poem detailing the fate that might befall us all if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. 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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Em suas páginas, o autor imaginou um governo totalitário chamado Estado Único que, supostamente pelo bem da sociedade, privou a população de direitos fundamentais como o livre-arbítrio, a individualidade, a imaginação, a liberdade de expressão e o direito à própria vida. Um mundo completamente mecanizado e lógico, onde as pessoas não possuem nomes, mas sim números, e o Estado dita os horários de trabalho, de lazer, de refeições e até de sexo.
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