Linda S. Farne’s translation of Yevgheniy Zamyatin’s “We” examines the power of culture and its influence over quintessentially human behavior. It desLinda S. Farne’s translation of Yevgheniy Zamyatin’s “We” examines the power of culture and its influence over quintessentially human behavior. It describes the future world of the United Nation, a sterile civilization protected from the natural world by the Green Wall. Inhabitants of the United Nation are socialized to cast aside their sense of selves (a socially unacknowledgable phrase) in place of propriety, breeding sameness.
The ancient religion of God is replaced with a new belief in the Do-Gooder, a mayor and godlike figure. His reign consists of the eradication of the human impulse, employing use of the Great Procedure, like electroshock therapy, to rid inhabitants of imagination and their subsequent will.
D-503, aircraft designer, mathematician and upstanding “digit” of this society, is haunted by an obsession with his hairy hands: a reminder of his connection to his animalistic ancestors, who once lived outside the Wall. This structure serves as the boundary between progressive order and uninhibited happiness of equality, and the unpredictable world of irrationality and the disease of the soul. D-503 spouts United Nation rhetoric of conformity and finite human existence, his savage hands putting him at odds with We, the collective identity.
When D-503 meets the rebellious, and powerfully destructive female digit, 1-330, he suddenly has questions of the outside world heretofore ignored as irrelevant. Inexplicably affected by his newfound loves and lusts surrounding 1-330, he can no longer make sense of United Nation control; his grasp of clarity becomes jostled. He attempts to come to terms with his unsettling longing for the revolutionary I-330, both craving and resenting his soul-like tendencies.
Throughout Zamyatin’s novel, D-503’s sense of self is an unexplainable pang of frustration. He feels a buried, inescapable something lingering within himself; it is inherent and yet contrary to social harmony, dangerously out of sync with the ultimate happiness of the whole. Farne’s translation captures the agony of this tension, as well as the confusion rotating around the idea of an infinite truth. Are we meant to exist in a specified manner, or is there some kind of logic hidden in disorder? ...more
Andrew Thomas Breslin’s “Mother’s Milk” is a chaotic intertwining of culture, etymology, global conspiracies and terrifying heroics: all of which convAndrew Thomas Breslin’s “Mother’s Milk” is a chaotic intertwining of culture, etymology, global conspiracies and terrifying heroics: all of which converge as a result of dairy consumption. Littered throughout with literary quotations surrounding milk, its origin and spiritual influences, the novel encompasses a huge breadth of social history, making for a complex overlap of ideas so involving that fiction and truth become mangled together.
What begins as an investigation into the potentially harmful consequences of cow milk by the spunky and sarcastic Cindy Kichlklug, attorney at law, transforms into a full-fledged war involving: the entire dairy industry, an eccentric and socially-inept mathematician, an underground milk resistance, and a coercive dictatorship of unimaginable influence.
At once mysterious, intriguing, cynical and witty, Breslin’s work astutely observes the nature of law, politics, and survival. After completing “Mother’s Milk,” I hesitate to dilute my coffee with milk, leaning instead towards the alternative of the resistance: mind-freeing soy. ...more