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Search tags: Ursula-K-Le-Guin
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text 2018-06-10 13:11
Reading progress update: The Dispossessed - I've read 18%.
The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin

So far lots of political & philosophical musings and no plot.

Is there a plot? Am I curious enough to find out?

 

Characters and world(s) seem underdeveloped and liveless, mere ideals, lacking real-life complexity. Yes, a lot more can happen in the coming 82%. But using 18% (and more) of a book for introduction is really pushing it.

 

(Bis jetzt viel graue Theorie und keine Handlung.

Hat das Buch eine Handlung? Will ich das überhaupt noch wissen?

 

Die Charaktere und zwei gegensätzlichen Gesellschaften wirken bislang ziemlich blutleer, sind reine Idealbilder ohne Tiefe, Ecken oder Kanten. Klar, da kann noch viel kommen, aber 18% Setup ohne Handlung sind schon eine harte Geduldsprobe für den Leser.)

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text 2018-06-07 11:41
Reading progress update: The Dispossessed - I've read 3%.
The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin

For instance, this curious matter of superiority, of relative height, was important to the Urrasti; they often used the word "higher" as a synonym for better in their writings, where an Anarresti would use "more central". 

 

I love it when authors consider linguistic differences and explore how they help to construct different cultural norms and understandings.

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quote 2018-05-27 16:50
"I don’t think science fiction is a very good name for it, but it’s the name that we’ve got. It is different from other kinds of writing, I suppose, so it deserves a name of its own. But where I can get prickly and combative is if I’m just called a sci-fi writer. I’m not. I’m a novelist and poet. Don’t shove me into your damn pigeonhole, where I don’t fit, because I’m all over. My tentacles are coming out of the pigeonhole in all directions."

- Ursula K. Le Guin

The Paris Review, Issue 206, Fall 2013

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review 2018-04-19 05:23
New beginnings
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

These are four loosely connected but independent short stories set at the start of Yeowe's independence from Werel, after 30 years of revolutionary war. They are the stories of people as different as they can possibly come, coming to terms. With loss, with cultural differences, with a place in society, with the past. They are all also big on starting anew. And, of course, feminism. The right to freedom, to a voice, to vote, to an education, to not be raped. These are all discussed and are an important part of the book, given the planet's recent upheaval and it's heavy history of slavery and male-dominated environment.

 

I found it bittersweet and lovely, and ended up with a huge bunch of quotes saved and a lump in my throat that I know not what to do with. There is so much wrong with this planet, so much hurt, and yet... it is so hopeful. I guess forgiveness is a kind of hope. Another chance. Much like love; another thing that permeates the book and is ever-present in every story.

 

I have closed it, as so many stories close, with a joining of two people. What is one man’s and one woman’s love and desire, against the history of two worlds, the great revolutions of our lifetimes, the hope, the unending cruelty of our species? A little thing. But a key is a little thing, next to the door it opens. If you lose the key, the door may never be unlocked. It is in our bodies that we lose or begin our freedom, in our bodies that we accept or end our slavery. So I wrote this book for my friend, with whom I have lived and will die free.

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text 2018-04-19 04:54
Reading progress update: I've read 270 out of 304 pages.
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

“I was sick to leave my books, and I’ve thought about them, missing them, as if they were my family. But I think maybe I’m a fool to feel that way.”
“Why a fool?” he asked. He had a foreign accent, but he had the Yeowan lilt already, and his voice was beautiful, low and warm.
I tried to explain everything at once: “Well, they mean so much to me because I was illiterate when I came to the City, and it was the books that gave me freedom, gave me the world—the worlds— But now, here, I see how the net, the holos, the neareals mean so much more to people, giving them the present time. Maybe it’s just clinging to the past to cling to books. Yeowans have to go towards the future. And we’ll never change people’s minds just with words.”
He listened intently, as he had done at the meeting, and then answered slowly, “But words are an essential way of thinking. And books keep the words true. . . . I didn’t read till I was an adult, either.”
“You didn’t?”
“I knew how, but I didn’t. I lived in a village. It’s cities that have to have books,” he said, quite decisively, as if he had thought about this matter. “If they don’t, we keep on starting over every generation. It’s a waste. You have to save the words.”

 

“Talk goes by,” I said, “and all the words and images in the net go by, and anybody can change them. But books are there. They last. They are the body of history, Mr. Yehedarhed says.”

 

These speak to the book-lover soul in me

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