Zamyatin

2001-11-04

In doing research for my paper on Zamyatin and Rand, I'm working my way through all the interpretive works I can get my hands on regarding Zamyatin. Thanks to inter-library loan, I'm currently reading Christopher Collins' short book Evgenij Zamjatin, which contains some good analysis of Zamyatin's dystopian novel We among other things. There are definite parallels between We (written in 1921, first published, in English, in 1924) and Rand's dystopian novel Anthem (1938), as noted by Zina Gimpelevich in an article she published in 1997 in the Canadian journal Germano-Slavica. Zamyatin's essays are also of great interest to me, since they advocate a 90-proof individualism as well as the integration of realism and fantasy/symbolism/romanticism in literature (a position that finds an echo in Rand's dedication to "Romantic Realism" -- which may mean something quite different from what her disciples say it does).

Today's quotes from Victor Hugo can be found in the preface to his play Hernani: "Romanticism, so often ill-defined, is only ... liberalism in literature." "Liberty in art, liberty in society: behold the double end towards which consistent and logical minds should tend." "Let the principle of liberty work, but let it work well. In letters, as in society, not etiquette, not anarchy, but laws."


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