Tag: ursula-k-le-guin

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, by Ursula K. Le Guin – “Revolution begins in the Thinking Mind”

It felt like a good time to read some Ursula K. Le Guin, wise thinker of our time, who passed recently, in 2018. A woman whose mind was always not only questioning but positing; imagining different scenarios for humans on a variety of alternate planets and creating characters within which to let them play out, to ultimately inquire what it means to be human. What mistakes will humans always make due to their inherent nature? What common human values remain in any scenario? Is it possible to get away from our egos? To truly care for one another over...

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How Ursula K. Le Guin Got Her Feminist Groove On

Before George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, I was reading only Ursula K. Le Guin. It was the initial Covid-19 lockdown and in that strange, restless time, I found Le Guin’s books helpful. Availing myself of her wisdom was water in the political and social desert of wise elders and leadership being experienced in the U.S. I read The Left Hand of Darkness, The Disposessed, and The Lathe of Heaven. There were three other books that had been hanging out together as a set in a little box on my bookshelf for many years, which I was...

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The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: Ambisexuality, both male and female in the same body, explored in a novel written in 1969 by one of the greatest thinkers of our time.

In the preface to the 2019 edition of the novel, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, the second book on my list of Covid-19 reading, David Mitchell, calls Le Guin a “thought experimenter.” One of the thought experiments considered in this novel is, “What if gender was not fixed but serially mutable?”(LHD X). The inhabitants of the planet Gethen, called “Winter” by other planets because of its extreme and constant cold, experience a 26 day cycle where they are androgynous and celibate followed by a 2-3 day cycle of “kemmer”  “where they become sexually active...

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Self-Reinvention: Ursula K. Le Guin And The Role of Fantasy, by Cecilia Dintino

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.~Ursula K. Le Guin   Novelist Ursula K. Le Guin recently passed on. But she leaves us with the ancient yet fresh notion that we can and should re-create ourselves beyond the confines of what we know. Her fiction tells tales of re-imagined bodies living in fantasied worlds and encountering mythical supernatural events. Le Guin’s narratives let us travel beyond...

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Ursula K. Le Guin: Women, Writing and Motherhood, American (1929-2018) by Theresa C. Dintino

When I was in my late twenties, there was one essay I read in the New York Times Book Review that moved me so deeply that I immediately signed up for a summer writing workshop where the writer of the essay was teaching. It was not like me to go to writing workshops anymore at that age.  I was in complete burnout with the workshop culture from my college writing program and the many writing workshops I had gone to after. I was what I would call a “beginning writer” at that point, trying to find my authentic voice,...

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