Zamyatin's WE

2020-01-14

In 1921, Yevgeny Zamyatin finished writing WE, the Ur-text for most dystopian novels since then (Anthem, 1984, Brave New World, etc.). In 1924, Zamyatin's novel, not yet (in fact never) published in the Soviet Union, was first brought to the world by E.P. Dutton and Company of New York in an English translation by Gregory Zilboorg. Because 95 years have passed since then, Dr. Zilboorg's translation is finally in the public domain - and I have just republished it online at my website for public-domain books, the Monadnock Valley Press.

Here is how Russian-American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin once described WE:

Philosophical as Plato's Republic, interesting as the best Utopias of H.G. Wells, cold as the muzzle of a loaded revolver, and sarcastic as Gulliver's Travels, WE is a powerful challenge to all Socialist Utopias.

Perhaps it is just as timely as ever.

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