dinsdag, maart 13, 2007

Yevgeny Zamyatin - We

Since I'm digging a bit more into the authoritarian states in Central Asia I wanted to read 'We' by Yevgeny Zamyatin, who wrote this dystopian novel after the Russian Revolution.

"We is a futuristic dystopian satire, generally considered to be the grandfather of the genre. It takes the totalitarian and conformative aspects of modern industrial society to an extreme conclusion, depicting a state that believes that free will is the cause of unhappiness, and that citizens' lives should be controlled with mathematical precision based on the system of industrial efficiency created by Frederick Winslow Taylor. Among many other literary innovations, Zamyatin's futuristic vision includes houses, and indeed everything else, made of glass or other transparent materials, so that everyone is constantly visible. Zamyatin was very critical of communism in Russia and his work was repeatedly banned.

George Orwell was familiar with We, having read it in French and reviewed it in 1946; it influenced his Nineteen Eighty-Four. Aldous Huxley reportedly claimed that he did not read We before writing Brave New World, although Orwell himself believed that Huxley was lying".

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