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lorenzoberardi

The Library of Babel

A Spin-off of http://bookwormshead.blogspot.co.uk

We - Yevgeny Zamyatin, Евгений Замятин, Clarence Brown A few months ago the former leader of the centre-left Italian cohalition published his umpteenth book.

Defeated as a political leader and disowned as the founding father of PD (Democratic Party) this guy decided to insist on his career as a writer.
Needless to say how in a mostly illiterate, television devoted country where 90% of people don't read a single book in a year, the popular politician climbed the bookselling lists.

Always keen to say the last word about hopes, vices, values and ambitions of contemporary Italian society, the author (let's call him Mr. V) carefully chose the title of the last masterpiece by him, naming the book "Noi" ("We").

In Mr. V's view "We" is the reasonable, honest part of the national society, a majority of people who understood how "life is a collective mission" that need to be rebuilt in a better way. This message has very much to do with the abiding (and in my opinion unbearable) optimism of Mr. V on the goodness and good will of the Italian people. An idealistic way of thinking shared by a wide part of centre-left cohalition. An utopian view that allowed our current and very controversial PM to take and reinforce his leadership despite of a countless number of personal and political mistakes.

I wonder if Mr. V knew that someone else already wrote a book named "We". Apparently nobody asked him while introducing his book. And yet I think this is not a mere funny coincidence but a big slip and fault of Mr. V considering how Zamyatin's "We" gives all but a positive meaning to the pronoun.
In this astonishing dystopian novel "We" is the whole of a humanity behaving as a single organism, reduced to accomplish its sexual instincts one hour a day enroling to a special list. Men and women do not have proper names anymore but are named with a letter followed by a number just like meat-made androids. And so it goes.

This book came first than "1984" by Orwell and "Brave New World" by Huxley and should be something to read for understanding both in a better way. Especially by Mr. V.