Read The Dragon: Fifteen Stories by Yevgeny Zamyatin Mirra Ginsburg Online

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Zamyatin is best known for the brilliant dystopian novel We, one of the great classics of science fiction. The Dragon is a collection of fifteen of his short stories (including a 67 page novella) published between 1918 and 1935. It also includes an introduction by the translator, Mirra Ginsburg, and the text of the letter Zamyatin wrote to Stalin in which he asked to be alZamyatin is best known for the brilliant dystopian novel We, one of the great classics of science fiction. The Dragon is a collection of fifteen of his short stories (including a 67 page novella) published between 1918 and 1935. It also includes an introduction by the translator, Mirra Ginsburg, and the text of the letter Zamyatin wrote to Stalin in which he asked to be allowed to "go abroad ... with the right to return as soon as it becomes possible in our country to serve great ideas without cringing before little men". The stories are all tales of everyday life before, during and after the revolution, but are rather hard to classify further — "realist fairy tales", perhaps....

Title : The Dragon: Fifteen Stories
Author :
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ISBN : 9780226978680
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 291 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Dragon: Fifteen Stories Reviews

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-01-07 23:00

    only the tellers of tales will speak in many-coloured patterned words about what has been, about wolves and bears, and stately green coated century old grandfathers (p.164)Oh, oh, not quite perfect stories, but strong, one difficulty or a joy is that you can read some of them on two or three levels, I could therefore flip back to the beginning and read the collection over a couple more times, but I won't.For instance there is a story by Vsevolod Garshin about a duel between a toad and a flower in the garden of a madhouse witnessed by one of the madmen who wills and yearns for the victory of the flower. Obviously you say this must be a crazy story - and you would be right, at the same time it is neo- Zoroastrian (view spoiler)[ assuming there are neo-Zoroastrians in addition to the classic original variety (hide spoiler)] parable once you start reading the symbols.This is a collection of thirteen or fourteen short stories, plus a letter to Stalin written from 1913 through to 1935 translated into English in the mid 60s, and variously republished with a similar title.There are common themes, not queer precisely but sexually off kilter so impotence, abusive relationships, specifically adults using children to meet their sexual needs, the strong taking advantage of the weak, generally perhaps desire. These are not though purely sticky stories about lust, desire is more an entry point to psychology, the crank that starts the engine of the story.The North briefly and misleadingly reminded me of Platonov's story The River Potudan in which a soldier is impotent as a result of his experiences in the military. One can see in many of these tales post revolutionary dislocation- the familiar social signposts have been taken down and people are lost or a continuation of Russia's artistic Silver Age interests and sensibilities just thinking of Sologub's The Little Demon. Here in the story x one could say it is not a story at all simply a discourse on the colour red - suggesting Church ceremony, revolution, shame, a wound, violence, illicit passions, and lead paint.Others, The North andThe Flood in particular the symbolism was so close to the surface that I could virtually create a storyboard for the story for a cartoon film (viewers must be over 41 years old) or a graphic novel. Rawness is also tender, it is a technique which has us under the skin of the characters in a profound way and this lead me to think of The Girl on the train. That popular book is not bad, but it is flat, it's major influence TV, everything is played out directly - the reader's job is simply to feel anxiety the interior monologue of the point of view character is also always directly relevant to the plot - TV in that sense is very efficient and I imagine the story converted easily to film, but it is also untrue - we don't experience our lives like that, we can't always articulate so directly, if at all what troubles us which is where the mythologists and psychologists and fortune tellers come in. An uneducated Sami woman maybe can't say to her Russian lover ' I've got myself into such a bind that my only way out is suicide', but she can shoot her pet deer "accidentally", and maybe we recognise even if are are not uneducated Sami women that there are lots of things we can't or don't say directly but which we reveal indirectly. Naturally writers who operate on such a symbolic level are deeply unrealistic and at the same time truer to our lived experience which is why this collection of stories is a forest clearing...sshhhh... look see the bear cubs playing with the butterflies, while Girl on the train is the bit of road kill that all the birds ignore after a couple of days. In my opinion.Naturally you ask ' what about We' I think in the issue of desire there is overlap - socially disruptive desire drives that story too, and in the combination of Science Fiction and religious fable retold one recognises the same writer albeit dimly. In this collection there are several stock stories - bildungsroman for instance in A Provincial Tale which are just completely subversive of the entire genre and at the same time ring completely true - want to know why the Police Chief is a sexual predator and a corrupt bastard? (hypothetically speaking) - well remember what Billy Wordsworth said: - 'the child is the father of the man'.From a literary history perspective this collection represents the path not taken by Russian literature through the twentieth century, the last stand of the Old Guard before the canons of Socialist Realism, characters in Grossman or Solzhenitsyn may have inner lives but such lives wouldn't be expressed like this, inAugust 1914 the Red Wheel is a literal burning wheel, just to make sure that the reader experiences no vertigo when exposed to a potential metaphor.So this collection also includes a letter to Stalin, Zamyatin decided in the face of those canons being rolled into position that discretion was the better part of valour and wrote asking the big man for permission to withdraw to Paris. Maxim Gorky put in a few good words for him and Zamyatin was allowed to depart and there he died (of natural causes) a few years later. I suppose we have to conclude that his style of writing was out of fashion in western Europe too and that it remains a minority interest since as mentioned these translations date only from the 60s and as a writer if known at all it is only for We. There's a relation, perhaps, with magical realism, but he is much more robust, and the interest is fixed far more on the inner life of the character.The stand out story for me was the North, which I felt I could read repeatedly each time uncovering an other layer of interpretation as though it was an onion, until I reach a point when I finally understood that one has to read holistically and not atomically. A fantastic tale, powerfully visual.One of my early memories is being in a bookshop, possibly in Croydon - to there we would travel on the number three bus slowly up and over Knight's Hill - and telling my father that he had already a copy of this collection on the bookshelves at home and had bought a second copy already. Quite what he saw in it I don't know, as a child I was at a loss - the title promises a dragon but the front cover showed decorous long bearded gentlemen in blue coats drinking from saucers, and if you look at the content's pageThe Dragon is one of the shorter stories.The Cave: winter, St.Petersburg, civil war. We are returned to return to prehistory, wood is chopped with a stone axe, the iron stove is the glowing God at the centre of a couple's lives, a greedy God who must be fed with firewood the couple don't have. Mammoths haunt the snows and extinction is on our minds, only the piano is unburnt, Scriabin opus 74 the mood music of these times. Indeed Scriabin might be the perfect musical partner to these stories, or some Mississippi Blues if you fancy something more up beat.In Old Russia the sudden interruption of the double Feather bed, not sex but desire, particularly the frustrations of thwarted desire (the merchant frustrated in his hopes of marriages has himself stitched into a bear skin and his own dogs set on him. Artemis and Actaeon, but without the naked bathing, the lust to be Actaeon and the preference to feel physical pain over heartache. Ditto the healing of the novice Erasmus, the delightful innocence of the novice monk who somehow spreads so much sexual confusion throughout the monastery that the only thing the Elder can do is to take the nuclear option, then of course everything is resolved - the social problem is not sex, even in a monastery where everyone is sworn to celibacy, the problem is making sex problematic, a Rablesian option, the obvious step to a life of meaningful celibacy.Goodness, I've typed enough, go forth and read!

  • Troy
    2019-01-16 01:46

    Yevgeny Zamyatin's tales are the written equivalent of the tortured grotesques of Hieronymus Bosch. These tales are dark and brutal; picturing mankind an over-ripe, warped and twisted thing, base and prone to lying, torturing, cheating, and killing. Even when the stories are stunning and beautiful, there is something dark and twisted lurking in the shadows - not an otherworldly monster as in a horror tale, but worse, the dark predilections that wait in our nature.Notes for Individual Reviews:"A Provincial Tale": This is a novella, not really a short story, and it is ugly stuff. It's like a Bosch painting in words, full of twisted, grotesque, and evil people laughing and drunk and doing vile things to each other. It's barbaric. For fun they beat each other, smash a cat into a boot and kick the boot around until the cat screams in agony, laughing all the time, use and abuse others, steal from friends, ruin people's lives with lies, brutishly fuck, live a life with no honor, ethics, or morality, condemn other friends to death, and ruin what little joy exists in other people's lives. Repugnant. Beautifully written, much like Bosch's paintings are beautifully made, but reading this is engaging in a stunning portrayal of the worst of mankind. And according to this story, the worst of mankind is in Russia."The Dragon": I'm not really sure what I just read."The Protectress of Sinners": A few assholes bungle a robbery of a convent, after killing a guard and a dog, of course."Two Tales for Grown-Up Children":"The Church of God": A nasty little parable about building a church on rotting corpses."The Ivans": A very odd story about a bunch of lay-abouts who dig to the center of the earth"The North": Was probably my favorite story in this collection; beautiful, but deeply sad. About a love affair between a simple giant and a ravenous redhead. Of course, the wealthy playa fucks everything up, but with the woman's help, and with the help of the giant whose obsession with illuminating his town overcomes his wife's needs (the simple giant wants his town to have the night-daylight of the city (the wealthy playa told him the city was illuminated at night)). A complicated tale, but typical of Zamyatin, deeply disturbing despite its immense beauty."The Cave": Another nasty story, this one comparing Neolithic life in a cave to life in Russia. An old man steals some wood to keep warm for his invalid wife's birthday, then goes out to die in the snow before the authorities throw him in jail. The wife, of course, will die shortly now that he's not around."The Healing of the Novice Erasmus": The Holy Student and the dangers of repressed sexuality."In Old Russia": A girl, two rich (older) men; who will win her affections? Ok, now we know. And now will someone else (who isn't old) win her affections? "A Story About the Most Important Thing": Sci-fi? Parable? What the hell is this?"The Miracle of Ash Wednesday": Basically, one of the funniest practical jokes ever. A man, uh, gets pregnant, and, uh, has a kid. Yeah. The ending is great."X": After the revolution, all are promised a lot of stuff. They don't exactly get what they want. And an ex-priest gets his comeuppance; that is supposedly the moral of the story, even though it obviously isn't; Zamyatin, just can't help twist that ironic "fuck you" knife. How the hell did this guy not get murdered by Stalin? What the fuck? The balls on this guy are bigger than a Yugo."Comrade Churygin Has the Floor": an ex-soldier with no legs, a bunch of pissed off peasants, weapons, violence, a sleazy bourgeois, more violence."The Flood" is a flood of repressed anger and emotions because of a woman who can't have kids, and whose adopted daughter has a love affair with her husband. An actual flood sets everything off. Bloody, violent, over-ripe: Zamyatin. One of my favorite stories in this collection."The Lion": a quick little parable about a worker who get a plum acting job as a lion in order to impress a woman. It ends. Badly. Which makes for good humor.

  • Nate D
    2018-12-23 20:00

    Yevgeny Zamyatin was a Russian literary heretic and master storyteller of the interwar avant-garde. Best-known for his 1921 prototype of dystopian sci-fi We, foreseeing the likes of Orwell and Huxley, Zamyatin's strongest works may nonetheless be his concentrated, rigorously crafted short stories, joining gorgeously surreal half-glimpsed imagery to original realist mythologies of Russian life, pre- and post-revolution, in the cities and as far from them as imaginable. Besides his extremely skillful manipulations of language, it's the sharp, bitter warmth of both his satires and tragedies that sets these out, at turns funny, sad, and vicious. Wise and timelessly affecting. My favorites are "The North" (see below), "the Cave", "X", and "A Story about the Most Important Thing", each a lively conceptual and formal marvel.Though originally a Bolshevik and supporter of revolution, Zamyatin was too much a born rebel and possessed too sharp a social conscience to make it under Stalinism. After spending much of the 20s warning of the dangers of restricting cultural development, calling for unending revolution in the arts, and decrying the dead-end Socialist Realism, he found himself entirely banned from working. After requesting the right to a self-imposed exile in a letter Stalin in 1931, Zamyatin was somehow allowed to emigrate to France with his wife, where he found himself further shunned by the the other Russian emigrees, most of who had left Russia much earlier because they did not support the revolution at all. He wrote a couple more stories and screenplay for Jean Renoir, then died in 1937.This guy is an incredible discovery for me. I think I'm now committed to obsession, trying to find all his translated stories, etc. This collection is arranged chronologically and the earliest stuff is less notable to I'd suggest reading forward from "The North" then going back once you're already in love. Seriously, it's so worth it....Previous thoughts:And here, the first truly great story of this collection: "The North", a fable of a fierce, passionate Lapp* girl and of man blinded by the artificial sun he seeks to build against the endless northern winter night. Like its rougher predecessor, "A Provincial Tale" (written six years earlier in 1912), this is full of the rhythms and rich details of rural Russian life, but bleak and cruel and populated with harsh portraits. Unlike the earlier story, this is nonetheless filled with pathos: life is mainly vicious but brightly burning, like the brief flare of Marey's homemade sun. And the imagery is much richer and more memorable here, full of a lyrical vision partway between folklore and proto-surrealism. (And naturally it speaks to my own winter-sense). And it opens like this:This is how it happens: the sun flies slower and slower until it hangs suspended, motionless. And everything is locked, imbedded for eternity in greenish glass. On a black stone near the shore, a seagull has spread its wings and poised for flight--and it will sit forever on that black stone. Over the chimney of the fat-rendering works a puff of smoke hangs, petrified. The quick, tow-headed urchin in the boat leans over the side to splash his hand in the water, and is caught, immobile, still. For a long moment, everything is made of glass. This moment is night. (p.89)*Apparently this is now considered something of a slur, but people are probably much less familiar with the term "Sami".

  • Shawn
    2019-01-18 01:47

    I had a few Zamyatin stories on my "to read" list so I figured I'd just read the entirety of this fairly representative offering (the only one I can't seem to track down is "God" - yeah, you go try to do a search on that, even with a modifier like "Zamyatin" - although I do know the general gist of that one). Anyway, powerful stuff here - Zamyatin has an interesting style - he was rejecting kitchen-sink/proletariat "realism" for "fantasy", but his conception of fantasy is not our current one, it's closer to "magical realism", I'd guess, and sometimes just playing with symbolic language. And then there are stories here that are in no way fantastic, in terms of story elements, but his style is an odd mixture of regional detail and floating POV/person perspective that occasionally borders on stream of consciousness.As might be expected, this fanciful approach was not appreciated in the years immediately post-Revolution and so the volume starts out with the actual historical document of his "Letter To Stalin", in which asks to be allowed to leave the country with his wife, since the new Marxist critics found his works so troubling. Stalin agreed and he moved to Paris where he died a few years later. The letter is pretty impressive in its own right - the man believed strongly in his perception of the purpose of art and writing (would that more modern writers, under much less harsh current conditions, had the same fortitude and conviction - but then the whole system is stacked against that worldview now, anyway).Some of the pieces were interesting but a little flat. The opener, "A Provincial Tale" meanders around quite a bit, wallowing in ugly human piggishness and stupidity before climaxing in a spasm of betrayal of all ideals. "In Old Russia" traces a young girl's marriage options, her suitors, a betrothal, a marriage, a disillusionment, an infidelity (a recurrent theme, infidelity) and a death, told in a matter-of-fact manner.The stripped back parable or fable seems to have been a form Zamyatin liked. So we get "Two Tales For Grown-Up Children" - featuring "Ivans", in which a hole is dug all the way through the earth, and "The Church of God", in which the lesson of not building one's institutions on the bodies of the victims is learned. "The Protectress Of Sinners" follows three men come to inform the local mother superior that the Revolution has made her redundant and her holdings fair game, only to find that they just can't bring themselves to do it. "The Dragon" sketches a frozen city and a frozen little bird rescued by a man who treats his fellow man much less kindly. Also taking place in a metaphorical, frozen Petersburg is "The Cave" which juxtaposes the situation of starving, freezing citizens with prehistoric times and notes how little progress we've made. "Comrade Churygin Has The Floor" has a provincial relate how the revolution transformed his small rural town, even though there were some very big misunderstandings at first...Zamyatin also evidences a talent for sly humor and frank (for the times), earthy, sexual honesty in some of these tales. The one that combines both of these traits, and was a humorous standout to me, was "The Healing Of Novice Erasmus", in which a virginal, talented monk's creative skills are so strong they accidentally send a monastery into orgies of lust. The solution is obvious and very funny. Equally sly and sexual is "The Miracle Of Ash Wednesday", a satire in which a canon suffers a mysterious ailment, or is it a miracle? I'm pretty sure I get the joke of this one, but I'll leave it to you to figure out. "X", meanwhile, parodies the frenetic paranoia of a (post-Revolution) former deacon, now just plain old proletariat citizen, as he is led around by fear, lust and jealousy, although a secret satire of Soviet bureaucracy seems also to be taking place. There's some funny self-aware writing going on in this tale as well. Finally, neither sex nor satire are present in "The Lion", a charming little romantic comedy about a man attempting to impress a girl by landing a stage role as a lion... who has to be slain.Outside of the truly excellent "The Healing Of Novice Erasmus", three other stories (each a bit lengthier than the other offerings, excepting "A Provincial Tale") are notable. "The Flood" is a moving, emotional story a barren wife who's act of kindness to a recently orphaned girl is repaid with betrayal that eventually blossoms into murder and a guilty conscience. "The North" is a piece set in a rural northern colony - the pace and detail of life here is strikingly drawn with some beautiful scenic writing and detailed cultural observation, while also featuring that odd, near stream of consciousness style I mentioned earlier. A town simpleton falls in love with a local Lapp girl, but there are many pitfalls in their life together, both from man and nature. Some very powerful writing here.Finally, the real oddity is the uniquely interesting "A Story About The Most Important Thing" which manages to give us the violence and betrayals of the Revolution on a human scale, while all the while juxtaposing that strand with a micro-scale study of a caterpillar's agony of transformation and, most surprisingly, the death of the last few members of an alien race on a dark star in space. The whole thing ends in what I can only call a fertilizing catastrophe. Not sure I fully understood it, but what a strange, interesting, unexpected story!If you like some Russian writers (I myself am partial to Gogol and Turgenev, although I've yet to give Dostoyevsky his due), you should consider searching out the works of Yevgeny Zamyatin. Now, I'm off to start his dystopian novel We before moving on to other things.

  • Matt
    2019-01-20 20:40

    This is a pretty amazing, if uneven book. I think it's fair to say that some of the stories here aren't totally awesome-- the long first story, a Provincial Tale, left a little something to be desired, and at times, Zamyatin comes across as a regional writer, which isn't a bad thing but kind of marginalizing. But in others, like the title story, his style of writing really does go some way toward making a context for the way Babel writes in the Red Cavalry stories. And a story like "This is the most important thing" is at once important, and really really weird-- it felt at moments like I was reading Bruno Schultz doing Tolstoy.All these comparisons don't quite get at the heart of this book, but it's radically awesome, and really makes me want to read more, and know more about, Yevgeny Zamyatin.

  • Anthony Stanford
    2019-01-13 01:55

    I fell in love with zamyatin when I was in high school. "we" made such a powerful impression on me when I was that age. since then there has be several reprints of his work making him more available to western readers, but at the time it was rare to find anything other than "we." when I was sixteen I stumbled into a used bookstore next to the dry cleaners where I worked at the time. this place was one of the worst book stores I'd ever been. it was wall to wall pulp and romance novels and the literature section consisted of a tiny single shelf. to my surprise I found a rare out of print hard cover of "the dragon." this compilation has been with me ever since and is one of my favorites. the title story is one of the best short stories I have read. simple, beautiful and concise and only one and a half pages long! also.. the letter to stalin is ballsy to say the least.

  • Jill
    2019-01-08 02:40

    The word "subvert" is a good one, ain't it? Loosely: to take your systematized expectations and shove 'em up your ass, thankyouverymuch, usually with a message but these days? Enh, we'll see; that's on you.This collection, by the author of the (brilliant!!!) grandpa of 20thC dystopian fiction, We, starts with a provincial tale entitled "A Provincial Tale." Tra la la. A young child in a Russian village must survive being disowned after failing at schooling! Alas! What will he do, where will he go? :( Perhaps the local church? Perhaps a kindly soul will take him in? Oh thank goodness yes; a devout, godfearing widow! Thank the lord!Are you bored?Well, here comes the SEXUAL ABUSE CHAIN!!!!!!Seriously: out of left goddamn field, this unbelievably modern narrative opens up: Baryba, the misguided but generally ok boy, is given room/board in exchange for, essentially, being Chebotarikha's sex slave (only alluded to, of course; we're Russian here how dare you). And in turn, Baryba sexually and emotionally abuses Polka, his inferior! wtf! wtf!!!!This is Zamyatin: he takes what you expect, and he flips you upside down.This doesn't always work. Most of the 15 stories in this collection suffer from that "boring Russian pastoral" syndrome -- which I suspect may be at least partially because of the translation. I'd love to read Natasha Randall's take on these -- she gorgeously pulled out the beauty of Zamyatin's prose in her translation of We; beauty which comes across, at times, in this collection. It would take a seriously shitty translator to ruin Zamyatin's last sentences, which are almost unequivocally brilliant, and there are moments of jaw-dropping magic in "The Dragon", "The North", "The Cave", "X", and "The Flood." The standout, for me, was the (shockingly sci-fi) "A Story About the Most Important Thing" -- two parallel narratives pulling air out of bottles and lungs. And beautiful -- but with another translator, ah! I suspect there would be magic in all these stories, no matter how close they try (and fail) to stick to tradition.We is genius -- by far one of my favourite books. This rare collection of short stories (can we PLEASE translate more of his shit to English?! please) is not -- but it's illuminating, and an important facet of what I think Zamyatin was trying to get at with We. So: while not every story was a winner, this was and, I think, is a massively valuable read. 4 stars for Zamyatin, 3 for translation.

  • Jenni
    2019-01-03 03:42

    After reading Zamyatin's short story "The Cave" I'm very tempted to go out and buy this entire book. One of the short stories in this collection, in The Cave Zamyatin manages to throw on its back the Russian Revolution's model of progress and moving forward to create ideal human beings--he even sets the novel in Petrograd, ironic, of course, becuase at the time the city was paraded as a model of progress. Zamyatin places Masha and Martin, two former members of the Russian intelligentsia, in a prehistoric setting of a "Cave"; the twist is that the cave is their own home. They have become trapped, starving and freezing, inside their own lives. Zamyatin also references to the "god" in the home--the fire--which is perhaps a not so subtle remark at the godlessness of Soviety society. The idea and social critique stand alone as making this short story remarkable. Zamyatin's masterful prose only serves as a delightful cherry on top of this rich dessert.

  • Janet
    2019-01-15 21:50

    Glad I'd read these--I took it out for the short story "The Cave", remarkable how, in just a few brushstrokes, he can deliver the cold, the hunger, the clawing desperation of the Formers--the former intelligentsia, the former bourgeoisie--during the time of the Russian Civil War. There is more than a touch of the Kafkaesque in these stories as there is in many of the 'magical realist' work in Soviet and post-soviet Russia--when life itself was so surreal, so disturbing and uncontrollable, that its' no wonder authors like Zamyatin and Bulgakov, and in our time, Pelevin and Petrushevskaya etc., gravitate towards the fantastic as a way to depict mental states of people clinging to the shreds of their sanity in impossible times.

  • David
    2019-01-03 21:42

    I picked this collection of short stories up a while after reading We, which I happened to love. I wanted to like these short stories, but found that I only enjoyed a handful of them. Although the stories I enjoyed were quite good, those that were not felt like a chore to trudge through. Ironically, I thought the letter to Stalin was better than several of the stories within, and I'm glad it was included in the collection. The 'best' ones in my opinion were: A Provincial Tale, The Healing of Novice Erasmus, The Miracle of Ash Wednesday, a Story About the Most Important Thing, The Cave, and The Lion.

  • J.M. Hushour
    2018-12-27 22:43

    Zamyatin is the author of "We" which the eagle-eyed progressive reader may know as the book which Orwell gently ripped-off to create "1984". "We" is a fascinating and weird novel and I really, really wanted to enjoy this collection of Z.'s short stories which I've had sitting around for years. Too bad they're mostly terrible. There are a few great ones on par with "We": "The North" and "The Story About the Most Important Thing" are great, and "The Healing of the Novice Erasmus" is hilarious, but the rest are bleagh. Ginsburg is a good translator so it can't be that. Maybe Zammy was just a one-hit wonder. "We" may never know. Bwahahaha, get it? "We"?

  • Andy
    2019-01-06 19:43

    Though admirably well imagined and well written, I found some of the 'magical realism/fantasy' a bit too abstract and hard going in a couple of the stories. However, several of the stories were superb, and easily made up for my own shortcomings in undervaluing his dreamier sequences. 'The Cave' (my personal favourite), 'The North', 'The Flood', 'X', and the titular, 'The Dragon' (taking brevity of profundity in small focus to the near point of being poetry - summing up several of humankind's 'grand moral themes' within a mere, beautifully evoked, 1 & 1/2 pages !) all deserve a re-reading for starters.

  • Claudia Piña
    2019-01-17 23:40

    No había leído a Zamyatin aparte de su famosísimo We, y debo decir que esta colección de cuentos es mucho mas entretenida de lo que esperaba. También es repugnante en partes: una especie de amalgama de gente horrible haciendo cosas horribles y/o gente miserable pasando por momentos miserables. Se nota que Zamyatin no estaba muy contento con la Rusia de su tiempo. Ahora entiendo el porqué de su exilio.

  • Doug
    2018-12-29 23:37

    Collection of short stories, the title one (The Dragon) just two pages long, others almost novella length, by a magic realist occasionally stream of consciousness early Soviet author. Obviously not the Soviets' cup of tea. Some of them are obviously better than others. "The Lion" was hysterical as was "The Miracle of Ash Wednesday." The references to Soviet life and history were occasionally obscure. Good introduction by the translator and the volume includes Zamyatin's letter to Stalin asking to leave the USSR. I wouldn't recommend the volume for pleasure reading but for someone interested in early Soviet history and culture a very useful read.

  • Adam White
    2019-01-20 21:57

    Many moons ago I did a Russian literature paper at University - this was the only book I read whilst doing the course. I've re-read it twice, ever since I measure all fantasy and science fiction to this book. Not for content, not for style - but for pure pleasure - do I get the pure joy out of what I'm reading, like I got when I first read The Dragon:Fifteen stories? It does mean a lot of books have been given to the op-shop shortly after reading 50 pages.

  • Paul
    2019-01-20 21:57

    A mixed bag of short fiction from the author of We, the dystopian clasic that influenced both Brave New World and 1984. Zamyatin tried to satisfy both the U.S.S.R.'s socialist-realist aesthetic strictures and his own yen for surrealist flights of fancy, and he wasn't always successful; but there are several weirdly effective fantasies here that surprise and delight.

  • Vincent Saint-Simon
    2019-01-07 00:43

    Sirs and Madams,The Dragon is a really good story. The others are mostly okay.Bz,V