Thursday, 22 October 2009

we


Church near Ferrybridge (scroll down) via John Davies.

In Zamyatin's 1920 novel We everything is made of glass. There is only one city, ruled by the Benefactor, a glistening metropolis of green glass – all the buildings, all the streets, all the furniture, even the very wall of the city itself are cast from that one pure liquid. The 'cyphers' (as the mathematically-minded citizens are known) operate in a transparent world where everything is immediately visible, and therefore immediately perceivable.

At the edge of this vast crystal dictatorship is "the ancient house", a home from the early 20th century protected from the age of millennia by a protective glass pustule. It is remarkable because of its solidity, its opaqueness, and its strange ornaments and objects that imply outmoded societal structures. But as the protagonist, D-503, points out, while in the process of solving a question of mathematical logic: "there is no end to revolutions. Revolutions are potentially infinite." Even the magnificent towers of glass will one day crumble back below the surface of the earth, leaving behind them only one thing: a violent and savage humanity.

Not wholeheartedly related.

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