Sep. 8th, 2012

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I've been on a huge Le Guin kick lately. One of my friends likes to say "Le Guin makes me angry because she's too perfect".

She has an interview about the Dispossessed and its use by the Occupy movement, so I read that one first. Followed by "The word for world is forest", and "The left hand of darkness." I'd already read "Gifts" and "Voices" and "The Telling", some time ago, but never the Earthsea books, which is ridiculous really.

The protagonist of the book comes from a society that we learn more about as the book unfolds. It is not only a society that doesn't believe in authority, it also doesn't believe in ownership of anything: objects, space, anything. In some ways it seems like the perfect, nonviolent anarchist society, but it gets deconstructed later in the book. Nevertheless it is contrasted with what I might call a steampunk society: full of futuristic technology and science as predicted by a 70's sci-fi writer, but with class divisions, codified sexism, and capitalism that remind me of the Gilded Age.

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