Customer Review

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Original Dystopian Classic, 18 Jun. 2003
This review is from: We (Paperback)
'We' is rightly regarded as a classic of 20th century literature. It may be classified as SF but, as with all great works within that genre, it is not merely a tale of future possibilities but a critique of contemporary social conditions. Naturally this work has been seen as a satire of early Soviet society; Zamyatin well understood the connection between the utopian scientism of Leninist ideology and the mechanisation of the individual implied in the practice of authoritarian collectivism.
But there is more to 'We' than a lampooning of totalitarian communism. Zamyatin wittily and chillingly takes apart the notion of utilitarianism as a viable social philosophy. Surely his OneState city of glass, where everyone can be seen by the sinister Guardians, is inspired by the Panoptican, that giveaway of the authoritarian threat underlying classic liberalism. 'We' demonstrates that rationalist faith in progress and its concomitant fetishisation of technology can lead to dictatorship, cultural stasis and the suppression of the individual. The worship of order and a putative happiness can create an oppressive metaphysics of system-over-individuals as damaging as any suprahuman utopian vision based on emotion and myth.
This is also a story of obsessive love, of the imagination irrupting into a world flattened out into a lifelessness born of the apotheosis of order and reason. Zamyatin writes powerfully of the insistence of the self that it should live, breathe, invest its being with meaning, that it should be open to creativity, to Possibility.
I would have given this book 5 stars if not for some obtrusive flaws in the translation, but these are not nearly annoying enough to spoil one's enjoyment of the story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

We
4.3 out of 5 stars (68 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (36)
4 star:
 (19)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
£8.99 £6.29
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,203,038