Thread: Literary We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
paola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
Anyone else finished this yet?
I finished it just today - I did take some time to mull over it, but I cannot say I liked it. Actually, for the first half I was really and truly loving it, but once I managed to step back from it a little, I am afraid that I did find it a bit dated - the thing is, we know today many things that were not known (or at least not to the same brutal extent) in 1924, when this book was written, and I think that the stark truth of actual facts sadly beats the dystopian novel, at least for me.

For instance, a couple of years back I saw a short interview to a former guard in a North Korean camp, explaining how he had been brainwashed to the point that when he assisted with the execution of a family (mom, dad, young child) by gas, he marvelled at the horribly futile effort of the parents to pump their own breath into their child, as he could not assume such enemies of the state could have feelings too. Truly horrifying - but once you have that, the final chapter (which I won't spoil for those who haven't got that far yet) cannot punch you hard enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
I did find it hard to follow some of his thoughts. There's quite a lot of incomplete thoughts that I think I'm supposed to grasp but am perhaps a bit too dim to understand. However, it didn't prevent me from enjoying it.
same here :-)

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Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
Do we think that D- was actually misdirected from the golden path by I- as result of lust or love? I personally don't think so. I just think D- was really just awakening that hairy-handed core of his being and she was convenient because he immediately recognised her as different - that 'X' of her expression - the sharpness of teeth. His recollection of her filled with the symbols of the primitive, the unfathomable, the square root of minus 1.

The rest of the book is then a war between this inner beast and the mathematical purity he wishes for intellectually.

Another thought I had was that while this horrific oppression remained frighteningly compelling. Freedom remained a chaotic, violent and unappealing answer. That, in itself, is an education - that what we wish for in our society today has consequences that I sometimes think we are unwilling to accept. It's what I think gives the various United States of our day a hold over us. We can be wooed with the thought of peace, of safety; that all this suffering could end if we just....
I have to agree with a lot of this - in the end, I am glad I read the book, as at the very least it helps put in context 1984 and Brave new world, but again I was disappointed with some bits of the plot that just did not feel write - again I don't want to spoil it for those who have not read it yet, but let us say that things happen to D which should have immediate consequence (at least in the logic of the United State) that are simply not there...
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