To Orwell Today,
Your excellent site has spurred me to do additional reading about Orwell and have run across references to a book entitled WE by Eugene Zamyatin. I am not familiar with this book and would appreciate your comments on it as a piece of literature and as an influence on Orwell.
I bought "We" by Zamyatin a few years ago because I'd read somewhere that Orwell liked it and used some of its concepts in "1984" - as he did with concepts of London, Huxley, Wells, and many many other writers, some of whom a person doesn't realize until they stumble upon those readings themselves and recognize that Orwell must have also read them.
Actually, there is very little that Orwell didn't read. I'd venture to say that Orwell was probably THE best-read person in the world. Afterall, he was a literary critic for years and he didn't like listening to the radio or going to films. In his spare time, when he wasn't working on his journalism, books, carpentry projects or digging in his garden or sharing pints with friends, he was reading. And there were also many times when he was flat on his back in sanitariums too weak to write and with his typewriter and pens and papers taken away, when he must have filled the lonely hours with reading.
But I am not as great a reader as Orwell and I must admit that I was unable to get into "We" and gave up. But luckily an Orwell Today reader sent in a review of "We" awhile back and hopefully that will answer your questions.
It's wonderful that my site has spurred you on to reading more about Orwell. The author of Animal Farm and 1984 was a very special person.
All the best,
Reader just finished reading "We" and has a list of questions needing answers
A reader reviews the book "We" by Yevgeny Zamyatin
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