Category: ursula k. le guin

Fantasy is now a branch of the publishing indu…

Fantasy is now a branch of the publishing industry, with many titles, many sequels, great expectations of monster successes and movie tie-ins. In 1967 it was pretty much nowhere. Kid stuff. The only adult fantasy novel most people had even heard of was The Lord of the Rings. There were others, some of them wonderful, but they mostly lurked in small secondhand bookshops smelling of cats and mildew. I miss those bookshops now, the cats, the mildew, the thrill of discovery. Fantasy as an assembly-line commodity leaves me cold. But I rejoice when I see it written as what it always was—literature–and recognized as such.

Despite what some adults seem to think, teenag…

Despite what some adults seem to think, teenagers are fully human. And some of them read as intensely and keenly as if their life depended on it. Sometimes maybe it does.

And he began to see the truth, that Ged had ne…

And he began to see the truth, that Ged had neither lost nor won but, naming the shadow of his death with his own name, had made himself whole: a man: who, knowing his whole true self, cannot be used or possessed by any power other than himself, and whose life therefore is lived for life’s sake and never in the service of ruin, or pain, or hatred, or the dark.

They went now a way in which all events were p…

They went now a way in which all events were perilous, and no acts were meaningless.

‘For a word to be spoken,’ Ged ans…

‘For a word to be spoken,’ Ged answered slowly, ‘there must be silence. Before, and after.’

They talked together late that night, and thou…

They talked together late that night, and though always they came back to the bitter matter of what lay before Ged, yet their pleasure in being together overrode all; for the love between them was strong and steadfast, unshaken by time or chance.

He hunted, he followed, and fear ran before hi…

He hunted, he followed, and fear ran before him.

Out of the sea there rise storms and monsters,…

Out of the sea there rise storms and monsters, but no evil powers: evil is of earth.

A man would know the end he goes to, but he ca…

A man would know the end he goes to, but he cannot know it if he does not turn, and return to his beginning, and hold that beginning in his being.

A wizardly man soon learns that few indeed of …

A wizardly man soon learns that few indeed of his meetings are chance ones, be they for good or for ill.