The Russian Novel That Foresaw—but Underestimated—Totalitarianism | The New Yorker

The Russian Novel That Foresaw—but Underestimated—Totalitarianism

The Russian Novel That Foresaw—but Underestimated—Totalitarianism

Yevgeny Zamyatin, the author of “We,” was both the original writer of totalitarian terror and one of its original victims.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/books/second-read/the-russian-novel-that-foresaw-but-underestimated-totalitarianism

True literature can thrive only in places where literature is created not by obedient and reliable bureaucrats but by madmen, recluses, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics. Where a writer must be reasonable, faithful like a Catholic, useful in the present moment, where he cannot flail at everyone as Jonathan Swift did or smile at everything as Anatole France does, there can be no literature that is cast in bronze—there can only be the sort printed on paper, the newsprint sort that’s read today and used to wrap bars of soap tomorrow.

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