The Full Wiki

Ursula K. Le Guin: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin at an informal bookstore Q&A session, July 2004
Born October 21, 1929 (1929-10-21) (age 80)
Berkeley, California, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Genres Science fiction
fantasy
Official website

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (pronounced /ˈɜrsələ ˈkroʊbər ləˈɡwɪn/; born October 21, 1929) is an American author. She has written novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, most notably in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. First published in the 1960s, her works explore Taoist, anarchist, ethnographic, feminist, psychological and sociological themes.

Contents

Life

Le Guin was born and raised in Berkeley, California, the daughter of anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber and writer Theodora Kroeber. In 1901 Le Guin's father earned the first Ph.D. in anthropology in the United States from Columbia University and went on to found the second department, at the University of California, Berkeley.[2] Theodora Kroeber's biography of her husband, Alfred Kroeber: A Personal Configuration, is a good source for Le Guin's early years and for the biographical elements in her late works, especially her interest in social anthropology.

Le Guin received her B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) from Radcliffe College in 1951, and M.A. from Columbia University in 1952. She later studied in France, where she met her husband, historian Charles Le Guin. They were married in 1953.

She became interested in literature when she was very young. At the age of eleven she submitted her first story to the magazine Astounding Science Fiction. It was rejected. Her earliest writings, some of which she adapted to include in Orsinian Tales and Malafrena, were non-fantastic stories of imaginary countries. Searching for a publishable way to express her interests, she returned to her early interest in science fiction and began to be published regularly in the early 1960s. She received wide recognition for her novel The Left Hand of Darkness, which won the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1970.

In later years, Le Guin did work in film and audio. She contributed to The Lathe of Heaven, a 1979 PBS Film based on her novel of the same name. In 1985, she collaborated with avant-garde composer David Bedford on the libretto of Rigel 9, a space opera.

In December 2009, Le Guin resigned from the Authors Guild in protest over its endorsement of Google's book digitization project. "You decided to deal with the devil," she wrote in her resignation letter. "There are principles involved, above all the whole concept of copyright; and these you have seen fit to abandon to a corporation, on their terms, without a struggle." [3]

Le Guin has lived in Portland, Oregon, since 1958. She has three children and four grandchildren.

Awards

Le Guin has received five Hugo awards and six Nebula awards [4], and was awarded the Gandalf Grand Master award in 1979 and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award in 2003. She has received nineteen Locus Awards for her fiction, more than any other author.[5] Her novel The Farthest Shore won the National Book Award for Children's Books in 1973.

Le Guin was the Professional Guest of Honor at the 1975 World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne, Australia. She received the Library of Congress Living Legends award in the "Writers and Artists" category in April 2000 for her significant contributions to America's cultural heritage.[6] In 2004, Le Guin was the recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children's May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award and the Margaret Edwards Award. She was honored by The Washington Center for the Book for her distinguished body of work with the Maxine Cushing Gray Fellowship for Writers on October 18, 2006.[7] Robert A. Heinlein in part dedicated his 1982 novel Friday to Le Guin.[8]

Themes

Much of Le Guin's science fiction places a strong emphasis on the social sciences, including sociology and anthropology, thus placing it in the subcategory known as soft science fiction.[9] Her writing often makes use of alien cultures to convey a message about human culture in general. An example is the exploration of sexual identity through an androgynous race in The Left Hand of Darkness. Such themes can place her work in the category of feminist science fiction,[10] but not necessarily so. Her works are also often concerned with ecological issues.

In her writing, Le Guin makes use of the ordinary actions and transactions of everyday life. For example, in 'Tehanu' it is central to the story that the main characters are concerned with the everyday business of looking after animals, tending gardens and doing domestic chores. While she has often used otherworldly perspectives to explore political and cultural themes, she has also written fiction set much closer to home; many of her short stories are set in our world in the present or near future.

Several of Le Guin's science fiction works, including her novels The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, belong to her Hainish Cycle, which details a future, galactic civilization loosely connected by an organizational body known as the Ekumen. Many of these works deal with the consequences of contact between different worlds and cultures. The Ekumen serves as a framework in which to stage these interactions.[citation needed] For example, the novels The Left Hand of Darkness and The Telling deal with the consequences of the arrival of Ekumen envoys (known as "mobiles") on remote planets and the culture shock that ensues.

Unlike those in much mainstream science fiction, none of the civilizations Le Guin depicts possess reliable faster-than-light travel, with the exception of unmanned FTL monitors and bombers. Instead, Le Guin created the ansible, a device that allows instantaneous communication up to 120 light years. The term and concept have been subsequently borrowed by several other well-known authors.

Adaptations of her work

Few of Le Guin's major works have been adapted for film or television. Her 1971 novel The Lathe of Heaven has been adapted twice. First, in 1980 by thirteen/WNET New York, with her own participation, and again in 2002 by the A&E Network.

In the early 1980s animator and director Hayao Miyazaki asked permission to create an animated adaptation of Earthsea. However, Le Guin, who was unfamiliar with his work and anime in general, turned down the offer. Several years later, after seeing My Neighbour Totoro, she reconsidered her refusal, believing that if anyone should be allowed to direct an Earthsea film, it should be Hayao Miyazaki.[citation needed] The third and fourth Earthsea books were used as the basis of the 2005 animated film Tales from Earthsea (ゲド戦記 Gedo Senki?). The film, however, was directed by Miyazaki's son, Goro, rather than Hayao Miyazaki himself, and Le Guin has expressed mixed feelings toward it.[11]

In 2004 the Sci Fi Channel adapted the first two books of the Earthsea trilogy as the miniseries Legend of Earthsea. Le Guin says that she was "cut out of the process" of this adaptation and that the miniseries was a "far cry from the Earthsea I envisioned."[12]

In the 1980s, the CBC Radio anthology program 'Vanishing Point' adapted 'The Dispossessed' into a series of six 30 minute episodes and 'The Word for World Is Forest' as a series of three 30 minute episodes.[citation needed]

Fiction

Advertisements

Earthsea (fantasy)

Earthsea novels

Note: The short story "Dragonfly" from Tales from Earthsea, 2001, is intended to fit in between Tehanu and The Other Wind and, according to Le Guin, is "an important bridge in the series as a whole".[16]

Earthsea short stories

Hainish Cycle (science fiction)

Hainish Cycle novels

Hainish Cycle short stories

Poetry and Stories of Orsinia

Miscellaneous novels and story cycles

Note: Le Guin has said that The Eye of the Heron might form part of the Hainish cycle.

Short story collections

Books for children and young adults

The Catwings Collection

Annals of the Western Shore

  • Gifts, 2004 (PEN Center USA 2005 Children's Literature Award[25])
  • Voices, 2006
  • Powers, 2007 (Nebula Award winner, 2008[26])

Other books for children and young adults

  • Very Far Away from Anywhere Else, 1976, ISBN 0-15-205208-9
  • Leese Webster, 1979, ISBN 0-689-30715-2
  • Solomon Leviathan's Nine Hundred and Thirty-First Trip Around the World, 1984, ISBN 0-399-21491-7
  • A Visit from Dr. Katz, 1988, ISBN 0-689-31332-2
  • Fire and Stone, 1989, ISBN 0-689-31408-6
  • Fish Soup, 1992, ISBN 0-689-31733-6
  • A Ride on the Red Mare's Back, 1992, ISBN 0-531-07079-4
  • Tom Mouse, 2002, ISBN 0-7613-1599-3

Nonfiction

Prose

  • The Language of the Night, 1979, revised edition 1992
  • Dancing at the Edge of the World, 1989
  • Revisioning Earthsea, 1992 (a published lecture — essay)
  • Steering the Craft, 1998 (about writing)
  • The Wave in the Mind, 2004
  • Cheek By Jowl: Essays, 2009

Poetry

  • Wild Angels, 1975
  • Hard Words and Other Poems, 1981
  • Wild Oats and Fireweed, 1988
  • Going Out with Peacocks and Other Poems, 1994
  • Sixty Odd: New Poems, 1999
  • Incredible Good Fortune, 2006

Translations and renditions

Le Guin has published many works that are not listed here. Many works were originally published in science fiction literary magazines. Those that have not since been anthologized have fallen into obscurity.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ a b c The Rough Guide To Cult Fiction", Tom Bullough, et al., Penguin Books Ltd, London, 2005, p.163
  2. ^ Steward, Julian (1960) Obituary: Alfred Louis Kroeber. American Ethnography Quasimonthly http://www.americanethnography.com/article_sql.php?id=10&page=2
  3. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/dec/24/le-guin-authors-guild-deal
  4. ^ Index to SF Awards: Ursula Le Guin
  5. ^ The Locus Index to SF Awards: Locus Awards Records and Tallies
  6. ^ "Living Legends: Ursula LeGuin", Awards and Honors (Library of Congress).
  7. ^ "News Release," The Seattle Public Library, 19 October 2006.
  8. ^ Heinlein, Robert A (1984). Friday. New England Library. ISBN 0-450-05549-3. 
  9. ^ Charlotte Spivack, "'Only in Dying, Life': The Dynamics of Old Age in the Fiction of Ursula Le Guin," Modern Language Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3. (Summer, 1984), pp. 43-53
  10. ^ Marilyn Strathern, "Gender as It Might Be: A Review Article," RAIN, No. 28. (Oct., 1978), pp. 4-7.
  11. ^ Ursula K. LeGuin, "Gedo Senki"
  12. ^ A Whitewashed Earthsea: How the Sci Fi Channel Wrecked My Books.
  13. ^ "1990 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1990. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  14. ^ "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1991. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  15. ^ "2002 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2002. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  16. ^ The Other Wind, Ursula K. Le Guin's Website
  17. ^ "1969 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1969. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  18. ^ "1970 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1970. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  19. ^ "1974 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1974. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  20. ^ "1975 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1975. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  21. ^ "2001 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2001. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  22. ^ Prairie Poet (Charleston, Ill.), Fall 1959, p 75
  23. ^ "1972 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=1972. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  24. ^ "2009 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  25. ^ 2005 Literary Awards Winners, PEN Center USA
  26. ^ "2008 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2008. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 

Her open letter of resignation can be found on her website.

Further reading

  • Bloom, Harold, ed., "Ursula K. Leguin: Modern Critical Views" (Chelsea House Publications, 2000)
  • Brown, Joanne, & St. Clair, Nancy, Declarations of Independence: Empowered Girls in Young Adult Literature, 1990–2001 (Lanham, MD, & London: The Scarecrow Press, 2002 [Scarecrow Studies in Young Adult Literature, No. 7])
  • Cart, Michael, From Romance to Realism: 50 Years of Growth and Change in Young Adult Literature (New York: HarperCollins, 1996)
  • Cummins, Elizabeth, Understanding Ursula K. Le Guin, rev. ed., (Columbia, SC: Univ of South Carolina Press, 1993). ISBN 0-87249-869-7.
  • Davis, Laurence & Peter Stillman, eds, The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" (New York: Lexington Books, 2005)
  • Erlich, Richard D. Coyote's Song: The Teaching Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin (1997). Digital publication of the Science Fiction Research Association (2001 f.):<http://www.sfra.org/Coyote/CoyoteHome.htm>.
  • Egoff, Sheila, Stubbs, G. T., & Ashley, L. F., eds, Only Connect: Readings on Children’s Literature (Toronto & New York: Oxford University Press, 1969; 2nd ed., 1980; 3rd ed., 1996)
  • Egoff, Sheila A., Worlds Within: Children’s Fantasy from the Middle Ages to Today (Chicago & London: American Library Association, 1988)
  • Lehr, Susan, ed., Battling Dragons: Issues and Controversy in Children’s Literature (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1995)
  • Lennard, John, Of Modern Dragons and other essays on Genre Fiction (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007)
  • Reginald, Robert, & Slusser, George, eds, Zephyr and Boreas: Winds of Change in the Fictions of Ursula K. Le Guin (San Bernadino, CA: Borgo Press, 1997)
  • Rochelle, Warren G., Communities of the Heart: The Rhetoric of Myth in the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2001)
  • Sullivan III, C. W., ed., Young Adult Science Fiction (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999 [Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy 79])
  • Trites, Roberta Seelinger, Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2000)
  • Wayne, Kathryn Ross, Redefining Moral Education: Life, Le Guin, and Language (Lanham, MD: Austin & Winfield, 1995)
  • White, Donna R., Dancing with Dragons: Ursula K. Le Guin and the Critics (Ontario: Camden House, 1998 [Literary Criticism in Perspective])

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

To leave the reader free to decide what your work means, that’s the real art; it makes the work inexhaustible.

Ursula K. Le Guin (born 21 October 1929) is a US-based author, known mostly for writing science fiction and fantasy.

See also: The Dispossessed.

Contents

Sourced

When true myth rises into consciousness, that is always its message. You must change your life.
Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain't no free rides, baby.
  • It did not matter, after all. He was only one man. One man's fate is not important.
    "If it is not, what is?"
    He could not endure those remembered words.
  • Truth, as ever, avoids the stranger
    • Zove (master of the house) in City of Illusions (1967), p. 5
  • True myth may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is. You look at it and it vanishes. You look at the Blond Hero — really look — and he turns into a gerbil. But you look at Apollo, and he looks back at you. The poet Rilke looked at a statue of Apollo about fifty years ago, and Apollo spoke to him. “You must change your life,” he said. When true myth rises into consciousness, that is always its message. You must change your life.
    • "Myth and Archetype in Science Fiction" (1976)
  • The artist deals in what cannot be said in words. The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words. The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.
    • Introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness (1976)
  • I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.
    • Introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness (1976)
  • I have never found anywhere, in the domain of art, that you don't have to walk to. (There is quite an array of jets, buses and hacks which you can ride to Success; but that is a different destination.) It is a pretty wild country. There are, of course, roads. Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain't no free rides, baby. No hitchhiking. And if you want to strike out in any new direction — you go alone. With a machete in your hand and the fear of God in your heart.
    • The Language of the Night (1979)
  • Belief in heaven and hell is a big deal in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and some forms of doctrinaire Buddhism. For the rest of us it’s simply meaningless. We don’t live in order to die, we live in order to live.
  • My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world, and exiles me from it.
    • "The Creatures on My Mind" in Unlocking the Air and Other Stories (1996), p. 65
  • All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don't, our lives get made up for us by other people.
    • The Operating Instructions in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination (2004)
  • To think that realistic fiction is by definition superior to imaginative fiction is to think imitation is superior to invention.
    • The Question I Get Asked Most Often in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination (2004)
  • What's to gain by silence?
    • Cannoc, in Gifts (2004)
  • Whenever they tell me children want this sort of book and children need this sort of writing, I am going to smile politely and shut my earlids. I am a writer, not a caterer. There are plenty of caterers. But what children most want and need is what we and they don't know they want and don't think they need, and only writers can offer it to them.
  • The notion that a story has a message assumes that it can be reduced to a few abstract words, neatly summarized in a school or college examination paper or a brisk critical review.
    • "A Message About Messages" in CBC Magazine
  • No truth can make another truth untrue.
    All knowledge is part of the whole knowledge.
    Once you have seen the larger pattern,
    You cannot get back to seeing the part as the whole.
    • Four Ways to Forgiveness (1996)
You must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow.

Earthsea Books

A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)

  • To hear, one must be silent.
    • Chapter 2 (Ogion)
  • Have you never thought how danger must surround power as shadow does light?
    • Chapter 2 (Ogion)
  • You must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow.
    • Chapter 3 (Master Hand)
  • Go to bed; tired is stupid.
    • Chapter 4 (Kurremkarmerruk)
  • You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that as a man’s real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do...
    • Chapter 4 (The Master Summoner)
  • The hunger of a dragon is slow to wake, but hard to sate.
    • Chapter 5
  • From that time forth he believed that the wise man is one who never sets himself apart from other living things, whether they have speech or not, and in later years he strove long to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees.
    • Chapter 5
  • It is light that defeats the dark.
    • Chapter 7 (Ged)
  • He had almost yielded, but not quite. He had not consented. It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.
    • Chapter 7
  • “For a word to be spoken,” Ged answered slowly, “there must be silence. Before, and after.” Then all at once he got up, saying, “I have no right to speak of these things. The word that was mine to say I said wrong. It is better that I keep still; I will not speak again. Maybe there is no true power but the dark.”
    • Chapter 9
  • I was in too much haste, and now have no time left. I traded all the sunlight and the cities and the distant lands for a handful of power, for a shadow, for the dark.
    • Chapter 10 (Ged)

The Tombs of Atuan (1971)

  • All I know is the dark, the night underground. And that’s all there really is. That’s all there is to know, in the end. The silence, and the dark. You know everything, wizard. But I know one thing—the one true thing!
    • Chapter 7, "The Great Treasure" (Arha)
  • As she stumbled forward she cried out in her mind, which was as dark, as shaken as the subterranean vault, “Forgive me. O my Masters, O unnamed ones, most ancient ones, forgive me, forgive me!”
    There was no answer. There had never been an answer.
    • Chapter 10, "The Anger of the Dark"
  • Living, being in the world, was a much greater and stranger thing than she had ever dreamed.
    • Chapter 11, "The Western Mountains"
  • “Summon up a supper,” he said. “Oh, I could. On golden plates, if you like. But that’s illusion, and when you eat illusions you end up hungrier than before.”
    • Chapter 11, "The Western Mountains"
  • A dark hand had let go its lifelong hold upon her heart. But she did not feel joy, as she had in the mountains. She put her head down in her arms and cried, and her cheeks were salt and wet. She cried for the waste of her years in bondage to a useless evil. She wept in pain, because she was free.
    What she had begun to learn was the weight of liberty. Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.
    • Chapter 12, "Voyage"

The Farthest Shore (1972)

  • So the first step out of childhood is made all at once, without looking before or behind, without caution, and nothing held in reserve.
    • Chapter 1, "The Rowan Tree"
  • Young he was not, so that one had to call him old, but the word did not suit him.
    • Chapter 1, "The Rowan Tree"
  • When I was young, I had to choose between the life of being and the life of doing. And I leapt at the latter like a trout to a fly. But each deed you do, each act, binds you to itself and to its consequences, and makes you act again and yet again. Then very seldom do you come upon a space, a time like this, between act and act, when you may stop and simply be. or wonder who, after all, you are.
    • Chapter 3, "Hort Town" (Ged)
  • “We may suffer for it when the balance of things rights itself, but we do not lose hope and forego art and forget the words of the Making. Nature is not unnatural. This is not a righting of the balance, but an upsetting of it. There is only one creature who can do that.”
    “A man?” Arren said, tentative.
    “We men.”
    “How?”
    “By an unmeasured desire for life.”
    “For life? But it isn’t wrong to want to live?”
    “No. But when we crave power over life—endless wealth, unassailable safety, immortality—then desire becomes greed. And if knowledge allies itself to that greed, then comes evil. Then the balance of the world is swayed, and ruin weighs heavy in the scale.”
    • Chapter 3, "Hort Town" (Ged and Arren)
  • Those were men in whom great strength and knowledge served the will to evil and fed upon it. Whether the wizardry that serves a better end may always prove the stronger, we do not know. We hope.
    • Chapter 3, "Hort Town" (Ged)
  • There is a certain bleakness in finding hope where one expected certainty. Arren found himself unwilling to stay on these cold summits. He said after a little while, “I see why you say that only men do evil, I think. Even sharks are innocent; they kill because they must.”
    "That is why nothing else can resist us. Only one thing in the world can resist an evil-hearted man. And that is another man. In our shame is our glory. Only our spirit, which is capable of evil, is capable of overcoming it.”
    • Chapter 3, "Hort Town" (Arren and Ged)
  • No, I don’t understand him, but he is worth listening to.
    • Chapter 3, "Hort Town"
  • He resolved not to speak again until he had controlled his temper.
    • Chapter 3, "Hort Town"
  • “But you knew them to be evil men—”
    “Was I to join them therefore? To let their acts rule my own? I will not make their choices for them, nor will I let them make mine for me!”
    • Chapter 4, "Magelight" (Arren and Ged)
  • But we, insofar as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility. Who am I—though I have the power to do it—to punish and reward, playing with men’s destinies?”
    • Chapter 4, "Magelight" (Ged)
  • The counsel of the dead is not profitable to the living.
    • Chapter 5, "Sea Dreams"
  • “Is it a wicked thing, then?”
    “I should call it a misunderstanding, rather. A misunderstanding of life. Death and life are the same thing—like the two sides of my hand, the palm and the back. And still the palm and the back are not the same...They can be neither separated, nor mixed.”
    • Chapter 5, "Sea Dreams" (Arren and Ged)
  • To claim power over what you do not understand is not wise, nor is the end of it likely to be good.
    • Chapter 5, "Sea Dreams" (Ged)
  • The Dyer backed away from him another step and stood watching him, the exaltation in his face clouding slowly over until it was replaced by a strange, heavy look; it was as if reasoning thought were laboring to break through the storm of words and feelings and visions that confused him. Finally he turned around without a word and began to run back down the road, into the haze of dust that had not yet settled on his tracks.
    • Chapter 6, "Lorbanery"
  • “Well,” he said. “Strange roads have strange guides. Let’s go on.”
    • Chapter 6, "Lorbanery" (Ged)
  • The word must be heard in silence; there must be darkness to see the stars.
    • Chapter 8, "The Children of the Open Sea" (Ged)
  • What you love, you will love. What you undertake you will complete. You are a fulfiller of hope; you are to be relied on. But seventeen years give little armor against despair...Consider, Arren. To refuse death is to refuse life.
    • Chapter 8, "The Children of the Open Sea" (Ged)
  • I know what they think they seek. But I know it to be a lie. Listen to me, Arren. You will die. You will not live forever. Nor will any man nor any thing. Nothing is immortal. But only to us is it given to know that we must die. And that is a great gift: the gift of selfhood. For we have only what we know we must lose, what we are willing to lose....That selfhood which is our torment, and our treasure, and our humanity, does not endure. It changes; it is gone, a wave on the sea. Would you have the sea grow still and the tides cease, to save one wave, to save yourself? Would you give up the craft of your hands, and the passion of your heart, and the light of sunrise and sunset, to buy safety for yourself—safety forever? That is what they seek to do on Wathort and Lorbanery and elsewhere. That is the message that those who know how to hear have heard: By denying life you may deny death and live forever!—And this message I do not hear, Arren, for I will not hear it. I will not take the counsel of despair.
    • Chapter 8, "The Children of the Open Sea" (Ged)
  • “In innocence there is no strength against evil,” said Sparrowhawk, a little wryly. “But there is strength in it for good.”
    • Chapter 8, "The Children of the Open Sea"
  • “The first lesson on Roke, and the last is, Do what is needful! And no more.”
    “The lessons in between, then, must consist in learning what is needful.”
    “They do.”
    • Chapter 9, "Orm Embar" (Ged and Arren)
  • “What harm have the trees done them?” he said. “Must they punish the grass for their own faults? Men are savages, who would set a land afire because they have a quarrel with other men.”
    • Chapter 9, "Orm Embar" (Arren)
  • One man may as easily destroy, as govern: be King or Anti-King.
    • Chapter 9, "Orm Embar" (Ged)
  • “A king has soldiers, servants, messengers, lieutenants. He governs through his servants. Where are the servants of this—Anti-king?”
    “In our minds, lad. In our minds. The traitor, the self; the self that cries I want to live; let the world burn so long as I can live! The little traitor soul in us, in the dark, like the worm in the apple.”
    • Chapter 9, "Orm Embar" (Arren and Ged)
  • To see a candle’s light, one must take it into a dark place.
    • Chapter 9, "Orm Embar" (Sparrowhawk)
  • “There’s nothing to fear, Lebannen,” he said gently, mockingly. “They were only the dead.”
    • Chapter 11, "Selidor"
  • “You exist: without name, without form. You cannot see the light of day; you cannot see the dark. You sold the green earth and the sun and stars to save yourself. But you have no self. All that which you sold, that is yourself. You have given everything for nothing. And so now you seek to draw the world to you, all that light and life you lost, to fill up your nothingness. But it cannot be filled. Not all the songs of earth, not all the stars of heaven, could fill your emptiness.”
    • Chapter 12, "The Dry Land"

The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)

To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
  • "Predictions are uttered by prophets (free of charge); by clairvoyants (who usually charge a fee, and are therefore more honored in their day than prophets); and by futurologists (salaried)."
  • If civilization has an opposite, it is war.
  • When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.
  • It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
  • The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.
  • A man wants his virility regarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience.
  • To oppose something is to maintain it.
    They say here "all roads lead to Mishnory." To be sure, if you turn your back on Mishnory and walk away from it, you are still on the Mishnory road. To oppose vulgarity is inevitably to be vulgar. You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal; then you walk another road.
  • There are things that outweigh comfort, unless one is an old woman or a cat.
    • Chapter 5, The Domestication of Hunch
  • To be an atheist is to maintain God. His existence or his nonexistence, it amounts to much the same, on the plane of proof. Thus proof is a word not often used among the Handdarata, who have chosen not to treat God as a fact, subject either to proof or to belief: and they have broken the circle, and go free.
    To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
  • Light is the left hand of darkness
    and darkness the right hand of light.

    Two are one, life and death, lying
    together like lovers in kemmer,
    like hands joined together,
    like the end and the way.

The Lathe of Heaven (1971)

Things don't have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What's the function of a galaxy?
The end justifies the means. But what if there never was an end? All we have is means.
  • I haven't any strength, I haven't any character, I'm a born tool. I haven't any destiny. All I have is dreams. And now other people run them.
    • Orr
  • Things don't have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What's the function of a galaxy? I don't know if our life has a purpose and I don't see that it matters. What does matter is that we're a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass-blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass.
    • Haber
  • The end justifies the means. But what if there never was an end? All we have is means.
    • Orr
  • I guess I can't, or my subconscious can't, even imagine a warless world. The best it can do is substitute one kind of war for another. You said, no killing of humans by other humans. So I dreamed up the Aliens. Your own ideas are sane and rational, but this is my unconscious you're trying to use, not my rational mind. Maybe rationally I could conceive of the human species not trying to kill each other off by nations, in fact rationally it's easier to conceive of than the motives of war. You're trying to reach progressive, humanitarian goals with a tool that isn't suited to the job. Who has humanitarian dreams?
    • Orr
  • What's wrong with changing things? Now, I wonder if this self-canceling, centerpoised personality of yours leads you to look at things defensively. I want you to try to detach yourself from yourself and try to see your own viewpoint from the outside, objectively. You are afraid of losing your balance. But change need not unbalance you; life's not a static object, after all. It's a process. There's no holding still. Intellectually you know that, but emotionally you refuse it. Nothing remains the same from one moment to the next, you can't step into the same river twice. Life-evolution-the whole universe of space/time, matter/energy-existence itself-is essentially change.
    • Haber
  • When things don't change any longer, that's the end result of entropy, the heat-death of the universe. The more things go on moving, interrelating, conflicting, changing, the less balance there is-and the more life... Life itself is a huge gamble against the odds, against all odds! You can't try to live safely, there's no such thing as safety. Stick your neck out of your shell, then, and live fully! It's not how you get there, but where you get to that counts. What you're afraid to accept, here, is that we're engaged in a really great experiment, you and I. We're on the brink of discovering and controlling, for the good of all mankind, a whole new force, an entire new field of antientropic energy, of the life-force, of the will to act, to do, to change!
    • Haber

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin
File:UrsulaLeGuin.
Ursula K. Le Guin at an informal bookstore Q&A session, July 2004
Born
Berkeley, California, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Genres Science fiction
fantasy
Official website

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (pronounced /ˈɝsələ ˈkroʊbɚ ləˈgwɪn/) (born October 21, 1929) is an American writer. She has written books, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, especially in the fantasy and science fiction areas.

She first wrote in the 1960s. She has been awarded many Hugo and Nebula awards, and was given the Gandalf Grand Master award in 1979 and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award in 2003. She has gotten eighteen Locus Awards, more than any other writer. Her book The Farthest Shore won the National Book Award for Children's Books in 1973.

Le Guin was the Professional Guest of Honor at the 1975 World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne, Australia. She got the Library of Congress Living Legends award in the "Writers and Artists" area in April 2000 for her additions to America's cultural history.[1] In 2004, Le Guin was the was given the Association for Library Service to Children's May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award.

Contents

Books

Earthsea (fantasy)

The Earthsea novels

Hainish Cycle (science fiction)

The Hainish Cycle novels

Miscellaneous novels and story cycles

The Catwings Collection

  • Catwings, 1988
  • Catwings Return, 1989
  • Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, 1994
  • Jane on her Own, 1999

Nonfiction

  • The Language of the Night, 1979, revised edition 1992
  • Dancing at the Edge of the World, 1989
  • Revisioning Earthsea, 1992 (a published lecture - essay)
  • Steering the Craft, 1998 (about writing)
  • The Wave in the Mind, 2004

References

  1. "Living Legends: Ursula LeGuin", Awards and Honors (Library of Congress).

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message