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  #1  
Old 01-23-2018, 02:39 PM
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Default R.I.P. Ursula K. Le Guin

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYT
Ursula K. Le Guin, the immensely popular author who brought literary depth and a tough-minded feminine sensibility to science fiction and fantasy with books like “The Left Hand of Darkness” and the Earthsea series, died on Monday at her home in Portland, Ore. She was 88.

...

Ms. Le Guin embraced the standard themes of her chosen genres: sorcery and dragons, spaceships and planetary conflict. But even when her protagonists are male, they avoid the macho posturing of so many science fiction and fantasy heroes. The conflicts they face are typically rooted in a clash of cultures and resolved more by conciliation and self-sacrifice than by swordplay or space battles.
(link to article)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursula Le Guin, 2014 (transcript from speech above)
Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

...

Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.
(source)

I just started reading her last year, and I wish I had started sooner.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:48 PM
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Oh nooooooooo
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:48 PM
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What a great loss. I discovered her a few years ago, thanks to some posters here. I've been meaning to re-read the Earthsea series, but I've been holding out for the Charles Vess illustrated collection that's due out later this year. Teh Hainish cycle is wonderful too. Her thoughtfulness and kindness came through strongly in her work.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:55 PM
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I've only read the first of the Earthsea books, but I've always meant to read more of her work.

That video clip was great.

I had a friend who would use a LeGuin-invented word to express respect for the passing of individuals. The word was "Arrariv."

So, Arrariv.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:56 PM
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Rest in Peace.

I first read the Earthsea series when I was still a little young to get many of the themes, but even then, I knew that it was something unlike most other YA Fantasy. I think I'll reread it again soon.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:15 PM
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What a loss.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:17 PM
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*sob*
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Old 01-23-2018, 04:50 PM
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One thing that makes this extra sad is that although she was 88 she remained very insightful and lucid, as a writer and a public figure.

Related to the publication of a recent essay collection, she appeared on a podcast called Between the Covers last year. She was also on two earlier episodes of the show. All of them are worth a listen.

Her piece reflecting on the 2016 election on her website is also worth a read.
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:14 PM
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An absolute titan of literature, SF or otherwise. I'll remember her by revisiting The Dispossessed. R.I.P.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:06 PM
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One of the greatest writers of the 20th century, speculative fiction or otherwise. The Dispossessed is a match for any "literary" novel you could care to name. One of the wisest, subtlest, and kindest minds I have ever had the joy to encounter. An absolute legend and the world is greatly lessened for her passing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Wizard of Earthsea
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...
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:44 PM
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I wrote a song about Omelas a few years ago. I'm gonna try to record it, now.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:09 AM
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Every single literate adult should read her extremely short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:22 AM
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Isn't the Omelas story the same kind of thing as The Lottery?
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:14 AM
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No, the two works are not very similar.

Setting more complicated philosophical and thematic differences aside, the most obvious major difference is that Le Guin's story does not contain a plot or characters in a traditional narrative sense. It's more like a thought experiment or a prose poem.

Last edited by estragon; 01-24-2018 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:26 AM
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I'd say it's more like The Giver

Last edited by muteKi; 01-24-2018 at 10:31 AM. Reason: perhaps more accurately, The Giver is like Omelas but ends with "but I'm not leaving without the damn kid"
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2018, 10:45 AM
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The Giver is also very different. The Giver makes the choice easy. Its utopia is a so obviously a thinly veiled dystopia because it robs people of emotions, individuality, etc. Probably more importantly, their conceptions of the role of memory and knowledge in creating the society are almost exactly the opposite of each other.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:24 PM
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The Hainish Cycle pipped the shell of the egg of my childhood. I owe my mind, my self, my world to Ms. LeGuin.

May she never be forgotten.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:09 AM
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after you read "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," I'd then suggest reading her Earthsea series. The original trilogy is wonderful 60s high fantasy, and then the latter three volumes, written much later, explode most of the concepts and mythology introduced in the first three. It's an incredible body of work, and each volume is pretty short, so don't let the fact that it's six books deter you.

The two SF novels of hers that are most essential are The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:50 AM
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The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is the only story by her I remember reading, but it was very good.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:34 AM
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On the Media did a good 15 minute segment on Le Guin's legacy.

Contains information about the conclusion of the later Earthsea stories, if that's the kind of thing that will bother you.
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