What Happened to Us? Are we in a Brave New World yet?

In this special guest post, Lyubov Dali offers an analysis of Zamyatin’s We and Huxley’s Brave New World in light of their striking dystopian visions

What is freedom to you? Is it an ability to choose what degree to pursue, where to live, what to have for dinner, or is it that hip Pharrell tune? Would limiting these freedoms make you unhappy? More importantly, are you likely to ever be persuaded to volunteer your freedom, aspirations, identity to be sacrificed for the greater social good?  Now before you dismiss us as lunatics, you might be surprised to learn that there were literally hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people who not so long ago willingly sacrificed their freedoms for the promise of a better society. Can it happen to us?

Brace yourself to hear not one, but two such stories: one of a society whose existence was shaped by an authoritarian regime, another – of a society that we are at risk to be building now. We will call on to two dystopian (of course!) authors who produced two of the most consequential dystopian works: a Russian Evgeniy Zamyatin and an English Aldous Huxley.

Read more

Guest Blog: Five Fascinating Facts about Alexander Pushkin

By Karen Langley 1. His matrilineal great grandfather was a black African page brought over to Russia as a slave. Abram Petrovich Gannibal (1696–1781) was kidnapped and taken to Russia as a gift for Peter the Great. Gannibal was educated in France to the profession of a military engineer, later progressing to become governor of Reval … Read more

Guest Blog: Yuri Mamleev’s Shatuny, a Metaphysical Detective Story

By Timofey Reshetov Yuri Mamleev’s literary works are available to the Western reader in numerous translations, his novels and short stories have been printed in French, German, Italian and other European languages. In English however there has only been a single book where several of his earlier short stories and parts of the Shatuny novel … Read more