“Biz”, One of the Touchstones of Dystopian Literature, is Now at Can Yayınları!

Is “I” possible in a world of “Biz”?

The government of One State, where people dress uniformly, are referred to by numbers instead of names, and have to live their lives, work, and even their passions according to a certain schedule, is building a spaceship to reach other planets. D-503, the chief engineer of this spacecraft called İntegral, begins to keep a diary by taking some notes and records during this project. As he writes in this diary for his unknown future readers, he realizes that something is wrong with the One State’s arrangements, but he has difficulty accepting this and concludes that he is suffering from dream sickness. Meanwhile, D-503’s thoughts are further clouded by the oddities that occur during this time, as he continues to work for İntegral while trying to cope with his so-called illness.

Although Biz was not published in its author’s country for many years, it is one of the novels that inspired many science fiction writers around the world and became a cornerstone of dystopian literature.

“The finest work of science fiction ever written.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

“This is really a study of the machine, of the genie that man thoughtlessly takes out of the bottle and never puts back in.”
George Orwell

YEVGENİ ZAMYATİN was born in Lebedian, Russia, on February 1, 1884. His father was an Orthodox priest and headmaster, his mother a musician. He studied naval engineering in St. Petersburg from 1902 to 1908, during which time he joined the Bolsheviks. During the Russian Revolution of 1905 he was arrested and exiled, and in 1906 he moved to Finland to finish his studies. Later, when he returned to Russia, he began to write novels. In 1911 he was arrested a second time and exiled again, but was pardoned in 1913. In 1913 he became famous with Ujezdnoje (Bir Taşra Masalı), a satire on life in a small Russian town. The following year he was tried for slandering the army in Na Kulichkakh (Dünyanın Bir Ucunda), but continued to write articles for various socialist newspapers. He wrote his most ambitious work, Biz, in 1920, but the novel was not published in the Soviet Union until 1988. In 1931, with Gorky’s intervention, he was allowed by Stalin to leave Russia. He and his wife settled in Paris, where he died in poverty on March 10, 1937.

EYÜP KARAKUŞ was born in 1963 in Mersin. After completing his studies at the Russian Language and Literature Department of Ankara University and then at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, he continued his professional life in Russia between 1990 and 2000. He currently works as a lecturer and translator at Mersin University. Besides literature and translation, he is also interested in photography.


Title of The Book: Biz
Author: Yevgeni Zamyatin
Translation: Eyüp Karakuş
Publisher: Can Yayınları
Series: Modern
Genre: Novel
Page Count: 256

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