Calculated, Haunting World

By Yevgeny Zamyatin
Translated By Gregory Zilboorg
Russian, 1924
Philosophy, Dystopian

Main Attractions

Zilboorg Translation

1.  Unique Dystopian    
2.  Unreliable Narrator
3.  Told in Record Form
4.  Inspired Many Classics
5.  Chiseled Word Choice
6.  Memorable Story
7.  Highly Re-Readable
8.  Some Confusing Facts
9.  Smuggled from the USSR
10.  Interesting Publishing History


Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Mystery Meat
I have to class this one in a similar light as The Librarian.  Some moods or storytelling methods are reminiscent of each other.  They both left me puzzled at the end.  We is told in a diary or record form.  So a lot of information is left out because the narrator just doesn’t have all of the information.  The result is, he can only tell us part of the story.  It makes me wonder what is truly happening and I doubt that he makes the right choices.  This lack of information makes the story seem more real life or maybe the narrator suffers from some delusions?  Overall, it’s a very effective way to tell this story.    

Why Visit Here

We has inspired many books in the Dystopian genre, according to Wikipedia.  If you’re interested, I recommend looking more into this literary background.  For now, here’s a nifty list:

✓ Brave New World (1932) By Aldous Huxley
✓ Anthem (1938) By Ayn Rand
1984 (1949) By George Orwell
✓ Player Piano (1952) By Kurt Vonnegut
✓ Logan’s Run (1967) by William F. Nolan & George Clayton Johnson
✓ The Dispossessed (1974) By Ursula K Le Guin

Off the Beaten Path

There are a lot of interesting discussion topics for We and related dystopians.  It can branch out into political science or even why should we create & read literature.   

Orwell’s Review of We: Click Here 

TED-edTalk on How do Recognize a Dystopia

Utopia vs Dystopias 

Packing List
✓ A Calculator, Pencil & Eraser just for setting the numerical mood.
✓ Maybe drape a jumpsuit or painter’s suit from a nearby chair for effect.
✓ A copy of another dystopian for comparison after reading.

Recommended Resources
Alternate Books
1984 By George Orwell (1949) - We inspired him to write 1984, after reading both, the influence is apparent.
The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood (1985) - It would be interesting to compare the role of women in both books.
The Librarian By Mikhail Elizarov (2015) - I can see some influences but it’s a widely different take on the dystopian/Soviet satire genre.

Movie Adaptations
✓ Wir (1982) Directed by Vojtech Jasny - This movie is a German adaptation of the book.

✓ The Glass Fortress (2016) Directed by Alain Bourret - A French adaptation of the book.