A collectible hardcover centennial edition of the exhilarating Russian dystopian novel of totalitarian mass surveillance that inspired George Orwell's 1984, featuring a foreword by the National Book Award-winning New Yorker journalist Masha Gessen

A Penguin Vitae Edition


In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful “Benefactor,” the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity—until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: He has an individual soul. Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We is the archetype of the modern dystopia and the forerunner of works such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Suppressed for many years in Russia, it details the fate that might befall us all if we surrender to some collective dream of technology, and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom. Clarence Brown's brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years' suppression.

Penguin Vitae—loosely translated as "Penguin of one's life"—is a deluxe hardcover series from Penguin Classics celebrating a dynamic and diverse landscape of classic fiction and nonfiction from seventy-five years of classics publishing. Penguin Vitae provides readers with beautifully designed classics that have shaped the course of their lives, and welcomes new readers to discover these literary gifts of personal inspiration, intellectual engagement, and creative originality.
Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval architect by profession and a writer by nature. His favorite idea was the absolute freedom of the human personality to create, to imagine, to love, to make mistakes, and to change the world. This made him a highly inconvenient citizen of two despotisms, the tsarist and the Communist, both of which exiled him, the first for a year, the latter forever. He wrote short stories, plays, and essays, but his masterpiece is We, written in 1920-21 and soon thereafter translated into most of the languages of the world. It first appeared in Russia only in 1988. It is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-utopia; a great prose poem on the fate that might befall all of us if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. George Orwell, the author of 1984, acknowledged his debt to Zamyatin. The other great English dystopia of our time, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, was evidently written out of the same impulse, though without direct knowledge of Zamyatin’s We. View titles by Yevgeny Zamyatin
We Introduction: Zamyatin and the Rooster
Notes to Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
WERecord 1
Announcement
The Wisest of Lines
An Epic Poem
Record 2
Ballet
Harmony Squared
X
Record 3
Jacket
Wall
The Table
Record 4
Savage with Barometer
Epilepsy
If
Record 5
Square
Rulers of the World
Pleasant and Useful Function
Record 6
Accident
Damned "Clear"
24 Hours
Record 7
An Eyelash
Taylor
Henbane and Lily of the Valley
Record 8
The Irrational Root
R-13
Triangle
Record 9
Liturgy
Iambs and Trochees
Cast-Iron Hand
Record 10
Letter
Membrane
Hairy Me
Record 11
No, I Can't...
Skip the Contents
Record 12
Limitation of Infinity
Angel
Reflections on Poetry
Record 13
Fog
Familiar "You"
An Absolutely Inane Occurrence
Record 14
"Mine"
Forbidden
Cold Floor
Record 15
Bell
Mirror-like Sea
My Fate to Burn Forever
Record 16
Yellow
Two-Dimensional Shadow
Incurable Soul
Record 17
Through Glass
I Died
Hallways
Record 18
Logical Labyrinth
Wounds and Plaster
Never Again
Record 19
Third-Order Infinitesimal
A Sullen Glare
Over the Parapet
Record 20
Discharge
Idea Material
Zero Cliff
Record 21
An Author's Duty
Swollen Ice
The Most Difficult Love
Record 22
Frozen Waves
Everything Tends to Perfection
I Am a Microbe
Record 23
Flowers
Dissolution of a Crystal
If Only
Record 24
Limit of Function
Easter
Cross It All Out
Record 25
Descent from Heaven
History's Greatest Catastrophe
End of the Known
Record 26
The World Exists
A Rash
41 Centigrade
Record 27
No Contents - Can't
Record 28
Both Women
Entropy and Energy
Opaque Part of the Body
Record 29
Threads on the Face
Shoots
Unnatural Compression
Record 30
The Final Number
Galileo's Mistake
Wouldn't It Be Better?
Record 31
The Great Operation
I Have Forgiven Everything
A Train Wreck
Record 32
I Do Not Believe
Tractors
The Human Chip
Record 33
(No Time for Contents, Last Note)
Record 34
Those on Leave
A Sunny Night
Radio-Valkyrie
Record 35
In a Hoop
Carrot
Murder
Record 36
Blank Pages
The Christian God
About My Mother
Record 37
Infusorian
Doomsday
Her Room
Record 38
(I Don't Know What Goes Here, Maybe Just: A Cigarette Butt)
Record 39
The End
Record 40
Facts
The Bell
I Am Certain
Translator's Notes
“Zamyatin . . . did more than predict some of the specific characteristics of totalitarianism―he predicted its defining condition: the destruction of the individual. . . . [He] found the word for it: We.” ―Masha Gessen, from the Foreword

“The best single work of science fiction yet written.” —Ursula K. Le Guin

“[Zamyatin’s] intuitive grasp of the irrational side of totalitarianism—human sacrifice, cruelty as an end in itself—makes [We] superior to Huxley’s [Brave New World].” —George Orwell
 
“At this dystopian moment in world politics, everyone’s talking about 1984, but take a look at the novel that inspired it (or, at least, which George Orwell reviewed soon before he wrote 1984)—Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. . . . The dystopia Zamyatin painted has, alas, many echoes with today’s surveillance society—just think of China’s budding ‘social credit’ program, which monitors citizens’ movements. Big Brother was a piker, compared to Xi Jinping. Zamyatin saw it coming.” —Lit Hub

About

A collectible hardcover centennial edition of the exhilarating Russian dystopian novel of totalitarian mass surveillance that inspired George Orwell's 1984, featuring a foreword by the National Book Award-winning New Yorker journalist Masha Gessen

A Penguin Vitae Edition


In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful “Benefactor,” the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity—until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: He has an individual soul. Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We is the archetype of the modern dystopia and the forerunner of works such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Suppressed for many years in Russia, it details the fate that might befall us all if we surrender to some collective dream of technology, and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom. Clarence Brown's brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years' suppression.

Penguin Vitae—loosely translated as "Penguin of one's life"—is a deluxe hardcover series from Penguin Classics celebrating a dynamic and diverse landscape of classic fiction and nonfiction from seventy-five years of classics publishing. Penguin Vitae provides readers with beautifully designed classics that have shaped the course of their lives, and welcomes new readers to discover these literary gifts of personal inspiration, intellectual engagement, and creative originality.

Author

Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval architect by profession and a writer by nature. His favorite idea was the absolute freedom of the human personality to create, to imagine, to love, to make mistakes, and to change the world. This made him a highly inconvenient citizen of two despotisms, the tsarist and the Communist, both of which exiled him, the first for a year, the latter forever. He wrote short stories, plays, and essays, but his masterpiece is We, written in 1920-21 and soon thereafter translated into most of the languages of the world. It first appeared in Russia only in 1988. It is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-utopia; a great prose poem on the fate that might befall all of us if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. George Orwell, the author of 1984, acknowledged his debt to Zamyatin. The other great English dystopia of our time, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, was evidently written out of the same impulse, though without direct knowledge of Zamyatin’s We. View titles by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Table of Contents

We Introduction: Zamyatin and the Rooster
Notes to Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
WERecord 1
Announcement
The Wisest of Lines
An Epic Poem
Record 2
Ballet
Harmony Squared
X
Record 3
Jacket
Wall
The Table
Record 4
Savage with Barometer
Epilepsy
If
Record 5
Square
Rulers of the World
Pleasant and Useful Function
Record 6
Accident
Damned "Clear"
24 Hours
Record 7
An Eyelash
Taylor
Henbane and Lily of the Valley
Record 8
The Irrational Root
R-13
Triangle
Record 9
Liturgy
Iambs and Trochees
Cast-Iron Hand
Record 10
Letter
Membrane
Hairy Me
Record 11
No, I Can't...
Skip the Contents
Record 12
Limitation of Infinity
Angel
Reflections on Poetry
Record 13
Fog
Familiar "You"
An Absolutely Inane Occurrence
Record 14
"Mine"
Forbidden
Cold Floor
Record 15
Bell
Mirror-like Sea
My Fate to Burn Forever
Record 16
Yellow
Two-Dimensional Shadow
Incurable Soul
Record 17
Through Glass
I Died
Hallways
Record 18
Logical Labyrinth
Wounds and Plaster
Never Again
Record 19
Third-Order Infinitesimal
A Sullen Glare
Over the Parapet
Record 20
Discharge
Idea Material
Zero Cliff
Record 21
An Author's Duty
Swollen Ice
The Most Difficult Love
Record 22
Frozen Waves
Everything Tends to Perfection
I Am a Microbe
Record 23
Flowers
Dissolution of a Crystal
If Only
Record 24
Limit of Function
Easter
Cross It All Out
Record 25
Descent from Heaven
History's Greatest Catastrophe
End of the Known
Record 26
The World Exists
A Rash
41 Centigrade
Record 27
No Contents - Can't
Record 28
Both Women
Entropy and Energy
Opaque Part of the Body
Record 29
Threads on the Face
Shoots
Unnatural Compression
Record 30
The Final Number
Galileo's Mistake
Wouldn't It Be Better?
Record 31
The Great Operation
I Have Forgiven Everything
A Train Wreck
Record 32
I Do Not Believe
Tractors
The Human Chip
Record 33
(No Time for Contents, Last Note)
Record 34
Those on Leave
A Sunny Night
Radio-Valkyrie
Record 35
In a Hoop
Carrot
Murder
Record 36
Blank Pages
The Christian God
About My Mother
Record 37
Infusorian
Doomsday
Her Room
Record 38
(I Don't Know What Goes Here, Maybe Just: A Cigarette Butt)
Record 39
The End
Record 40
Facts
The Bell
I Am Certain
Translator's Notes

Praise

“Zamyatin . . . did more than predict some of the specific characteristics of totalitarianism―he predicted its defining condition: the destruction of the individual. . . . [He] found the word for it: We.” ―Masha Gessen, from the Foreword

“The best single work of science fiction yet written.” —Ursula K. Le Guin

“[Zamyatin’s] intuitive grasp of the irrational side of totalitarianism—human sacrifice, cruelty as an end in itself—makes [We] superior to Huxley’s [Brave New World].” —George Orwell
 
“At this dystopian moment in world politics, everyone’s talking about 1984, but take a look at the novel that inspired it (or, at least, which George Orwell reviewed soon before he wrote 1984)—Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. . . . The dystopia Zamyatin painted has, alas, many echoes with today’s surveillance society—just think of China’s budding ‘social credit’ program, which monitors citizens’ movements. Big Brother was a piker, compared to Xi Jinping. Zamyatin saw it coming.” —Lit Hub

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