Me – taide ja totalitarismi

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We – art and totalitarianism

Jevgeni Zamjatin's novel We (1920) has often been considered as the first representative of dystopian literature. Zamjatin's work thematises the implicit totalitarianism of realist representation and is directed against the pessimism of Wells and other realists. Free will, which detaches man's consciousness from the laws of nature and social codes, forms an optimistic element. The work-in-progress form and the emphasis on free will make Zamjatin's work a modernistic, not a neorealist, antiutopia. Besides the conventions of realism and symbolism, Zamjatin's work submits the various avant-gardist movements of the time to a critical valuation. The modernists proper" remain as the only critical and noncommitted element in the literary participation framework of the beginning of the century, according to Zamjatin.