My own writing and reading has slowed a bit as we move to the end of 2008. The holidays have seen me sinking into movies primarily. Nothing of stunning note, though I did enjoy watching the classic, Casablanca, again. My guess is, however, that my own thoughts would not add anything new to the libraries of critical assessments regarding that great story of Rick and Ilsa and the madness in Morocco.… |To be Continued “Again With the Yevgeny”
There is this furnace of the pounding,
and then there is this and more
and delicately the surrounding
of white flakes.
There is a brush-up in the waiting
where the birds paly greyed
in slanting pike charge, and lately
the crinkles clasp.
And then there is more, much more
than this, like heaps by the forest
meant to be lumbered o’er, hungered
as if a straight.
And as if the likelihoods of streams
relenting this, that and everywhere,
there is snow and its channels, its lockets,
its tricks and its light.
There is this measurement a-galing
of whole world and its wrongs
and right, swollen in the swales of snow
their very burden
tight and soundly bound, safely
and copiously unfoiled in polters
and in touchturns, the spilled
bathing bright cuff.… |To be Continued “Robert Mueller: In the Shadow of Yevgeny”
Reading Evgeny Zamyatin’s A Godforsaken Hole (Na kulichkakh, 1914), what is the novel like?
First of all, it is very funny. And familiar. And yet the strange thing is that those other novels and texts that it can remind you of would seem to come after; and it would not be any particular writer or book, but merely the feeling of its being so familiar.
What is funny about this book? Here we feel in Walker Foard’s translation (Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1988) the full effect of its capricious humor. The magic of caprice does in fact lead to something different, some indication of Zamyatin’s genius and personality. … |To be Continued “Robert Mueller: Zamyatin's Garden”
Zamyatin’s We has generated enormous critical response through the decades. George Orwell reviewed it in 1946, but was limited by the available manuscripts of his day. He read the French version, translated as Nous Autres, and based his comments on that. According to Natasha Randall, the earliest and most reliable manuscript was published in 1952, by Chekhov House. She also mentions in the intro to her translation of We that the Ford Foundation gave indirect support. Ironic, isn’t it?
We is the grandfather of Sci-Fi and perhaps the first dystopian novel. Zamyatin finished it in 1921 and quickly ran afoul of the Soviet authorities. He was always running afoul of the authorities. In this case, it was because he satirized the very same system that would repress any book about that system. Implicit and explicit in the book was the fact that it would be suppressed by its subject.
Set in the distant future, it’s the story of D-503, a mathematician and builder of the Integral, the One State’s first starship. D-503, like all the citizens of the One State, has also been tasked with creating works to fill that starship.… |To be Continued “Zamyatin’s We”