RIP Ursula Le Guin

Posted on January 24th, 2018 by

Ursula Le GuinWe have lost a great writer. If you haven’t discovered her books – or if you want to reread one you loved – we have many of them available in the library.

I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies, to other ways of being. And even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom: poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable; so did the divine right of kings. … Power can be resisted and changed by human beings; resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I’ve had a long career and a good one, in good company, and here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. … The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.

Ursula Le Guin at the National Book Awards, 2014; video and transcript

photo of the author courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

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