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Zamyatin's We: A Collection of Critical Essays

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Zamyatin's We: A Collection of Critical Essays

Gary Kern

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Nearly seven decades since it was written, Evgeny Zamyatin’s novel We remains a brilliant work of science fiction, political satire and experimental prose. Its basic plt, whereby a true believer comes to question the validity of a totalitarian state, has been repeated by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty Four and dozens of writers and filmmakers subsequently, yet it remains unsurpassed in its artistry, prophetic power and philosophical depth. We has become standard reading for every course in modern Russian literature and many courses in political science, history, science fiction, Utopian literature, and so on. It has been the subject of a variety of different, sometimes antithetical, critical approaches, yet the novel has never lost its freshness and remains an exciting stimulus for discussion. It is revealing that to this day critics cannot decide about the ending of We: are the forces of revolution crushed, or is that merely a false assertion on the part of the narrator?

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