Best 802 of Ursula K. Le Guin quotes - MyQuotes

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Ursula K. Le Guin
By Anonym 18 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

Suffering is the condition on which we live. And when it comes you know it. You know it as the truth. Of course it's right to cure diseases, to prevent hunger and injustice, as the social organism does. But no society can change the nature of its existence. We can't prevent suffering. This pain and that pain, yes, but not Pain. A society can only relieve social suffering - unnecessary suffering. The rest remains. The root, the reality.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

...All who ever died, live; they are reborn and have no end, nor will there ever be an end. All, save you. For you would not have death. You lost death, you lost life, in order to save yourself. Yourself! Your immortal self! What is it? Who are you?" "I am myself. My body will not decay and die-" "A living body suffers pain, Cob; a living body grows old; it dies. Death is the price we pay for our life and for all life." "I do not pay it! I can die and in that moment live again! I cannot be killed; I am immortal. I alone am myself forever!" "Who are you, then?" "The Immortal One." "Say your name." "The King." "Say my name. I told it to you but a minute since. Say my name!" "You are not real. You have no name. Only I exist." "You exist: without name, without form. You cannot see the light of day; you cannot see the dark. You sold the green earth and the sun and stars to save yourself. But you have no self. All that which you sold, that is yourself. You have given everything for nothing. And so now you seek to draw your world to you, all that light and life you lost, to fill up your nothingness. But it cannot be filled. Not all the songs of earth, not all the stars of heaven, could fill your emptiness.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

They have no gods. They work magic, and think they are gods themselves. But they are not. And when they die, they (...) become dust and bone, and their ghosts whine on the wind a little while till the wind blows them away. They do not have immortal souls.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

there are times when you have to speak because silence is betrayal.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

I never had a gift but one, to know when the great wheel gives to a touch, to know and act.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

They argued because they liked argument, liked the swift run of the unfettered mind along the paths of possibility, liked to question what was not questioned.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

The label YA actually means nothing except that the protagonists, or some of them, are young. Publishers like it because it is a secure marketing niche. But the cost of security is exclusion from literary consideration.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

A related point: The job of the imagination, in making a story from experience, may be not to gussy the story up but to tone it down. The fact is, the world is unbelievably strange and human behavior is frequently so weird that no kind of narrative except farce or satire can handle it. The function of the storyteller's imagination sometimes is simply to make it more plausible.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

...[T]he only means I have to stop ignorant snobs from behaving towards genre fiction with snobbish ignorance is to not reinforce their ignorance and snobbery by lying and saying that when I write SF it isn't SF, but to tell them more or less patiently for forty or fifty years that they are wrong to exclude SF and fantasy from literature, and proving my arguments by writing well.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

To see a candle's light one must take it into a dark place.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

But now his dry and silent grieving for his lost wife must end, for there she stood, the fierce, recalcitrant, and fragile stranger, forever to be won again.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

Time has two aspects. There is the arrow, the running river, without which there is no change, no progress, or direction, or creation. And there is the circle or the cycle, without which there is chaos, meaningless succession of instants, a world without clocks or seasons or promises.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

How does one hate a country, or love one?... I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is the love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

Art and Entertainment are the same thing, in that the more deeply and genuinely entertaining a work is, the better art it is. To imply that Art is something heavy and solemn and dull, and Entertainment is modest but jolly and popular, is neo-Victorian idiocy at its worst.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

It is yin and yang. Light is the left hand of darkness... how did it go? Light, dark. Fear, courage. Cold, warmth. Female, male. It is yourself, Therem. Both and one. A shadow on snow.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

By and large books are mankind's best invention.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

The great authors share their souls with us- "literally.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

What she needs, at least one thing she needs, is companionship. After all why should she eat? Who needs her to be alive? What we call psychosis is sometimes simply realism. But human beings can't live on realism alone.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

A fantasy is a journey. It is a journey into the subconscious mind, just as psychoanalysis is. Like psychoanalysis, it can be dangerous; and it will change you.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

I have no control over my writing. I have lots of good intentions, but no control. There's a story that wants to be told.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

And he began to see the truth, that [he] 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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

Virginity is now a mere preamble or waiting room to be got out of as soon as possible; it is without significance. Old age is similarly a waiting room, where you go after life's over and wait for cancer or a stroke. The years before and after the menstrual years are vestigial: the only meaningful condition left to women is that of fruitfulness.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy. Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled. You will not know what it is to come home.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

If your voice is heard by more people because you've earned some kind of name and fame, your silence on an issue of urgent moral importance is even more of a betrayal. Privilege is obligation.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

...the social conscience completely dominates the individual conscience, instead of striking a balance with it. We don't cooperate--we obey. We fear being outcast, being called lazy, dysfunctional, egoizing. We fear ur neighbor's opinion more than we respect our own freedom of choice. ... We force a man outside the sphere of our approval, and then condemn him for it. We've made laws, laws of conventional behavior, built walls all around ourselves, and we can't see them, because they're part of our thinking.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

In the airport, luggage-laden people rush hither and yon through endless corridors, like souls to each of whom the devil has furnished a different, inaccurate map of the escape route from hell.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

We like to think we live in daylight, but half the world is always dark, and fantasy, like poetry, speaks the language of the night.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

When we know that it's a planet just like this one, only with a better climate and worse people--when we know they're all propertarians, and fight wars, and make laws, and eat while other starve, and anyhow are all getting older and having bad luck and getting rheumatic knees and corns on their toes just like people there...when we know all that, why does it still look so happy--as if life there must be happy?..."... "If you can see the whole thing," he said, "it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives....But close up, a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the art is, is to see it as the moon. They way to see how beautiful life is, is from the vantage point of death.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

In our loss and fear we craved the acts of religion, the ceremonies that allow us to admit our helplessness, our dependence on the great forces we do not understand.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

If we can get that realistic feminine morality working for us, if we can trust ourselves and so let women think and feel that an unwanted child or an oversize family is wrong -- not ethically wrong, not against the rules, but morally wrong, all wrong, wrong like a thalidomide birth, wrong like taking a wrong step that will break your neck -- if we can get feminine and human morality out from under the yoke of a dead ethic, then maybe we'll begin to get somewhere on the road that leads to survival.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

You don't understand what time is,' he said. 'You say the past is gone. the future is not real, there is no change, no hope. You think Anarres is a future that cannot be reached, as your past cannot be changed. So there is nothing but the present, this Urras, the rich, real, stable present, the moment now. And you think that is something which can be possessed! You envy it a little. You think it's something you would like to have. But it is not real, you know. It is not stable, not solid—nothing is. Things change, change. You cannot have anything. And least of all can you have the present, unless you accept with it the past and the future. Not only the past but also the future, not only the future but also the past! Because they are real: only their reality makes the present real. You will not achieve or even understand Urras unless you accept the reality, the enduring reality, of Anarres.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

What you select from, in order to tell your story, is nothing less than everything. What you build up your world from, your local, intelligible rational, coherent world, is nothing less than everything. . . . . All human knowledge is local. Every life, each human life is local, is arbitrary, the infinitesimal momentary glitter of a reflection.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

But experience isn't something you go and get--it's a gift, and the only prerequisite for receiving it is that you be open to it. A closed soul can have the most immense adventures, go through a civil war or a trip to the moon, and have nothing to show for all that "experience;" whereas the open soul can do wonders with nothing. I invite you to meditate on a pair of sisters, Emily and Charlotte. Their life experience was an isolated vicarage in a small, dreary English village, a couple of bad years at a girls' school, another year or two in Brussels, which is surely the dullest city in all Europe, and a lot of housework. Out of that seething Mmass of raw, brutal, gutsy Experience they made two of the greatest novels ever written: Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. ... They knew their own souls, they knew their own minds and hearts; it was not a knowledge lightly or easily gained.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

He was aware that in thus relegating to irrelity a major portion of the only reality, the only existence, that he in fact did have, he was running exactly the same risk the insane mind runs: the lossof the sense of free will. He knew that in so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void. But the void was there. This life lacked realness; it was hollow; the dream, creating where there was no necessity to create, had worn thin and sleazy. If this was being, perhaps the void was better. He would accept the monsters and the necessities beyond reason. He wouldgo home, and take no drugs, but sleep, and dream what dreams might come.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

Little mirrors were attached to the front of their cars, at which they glanced to see where they had been; then they stared ahead again. I had thought that only beetles had this delusion of Progress.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this--letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write. 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.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

You shall not go down twice to the same river, nor can you go home again. That he knew; indeed it was the basis of his view of the world. Yet from that acceptance of transience he evolved his vast theory, wherein what is most changeable is shown to be fullest of eternity, and your relationship to the river, and the river's relationship to you and to itself, turns out to be at once more complex and more reassuring than a mere lack of identity. You can go home again, the General Temporal Theory asserts, so long as you understand that home is a place where you have never been.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

I don’t think ‘science fiction’ is a very good name for it, but it’s the name that we’ve got. It is different from other kinds of writing, I suppose, so it deserves a name of its own. But where I can get prickly and combative is, if I’m just called a sci-fi writer. I’m not. I’m a novelist and poet. Don’t shove me into your damn pigeonhole, where I don’t fit, because I’m all over. My tentacles are coming out of the pigeonhole in all directions.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

I had forgotten how much light there is in the world, till you gave it back to me.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

One man may as easily destroy, as govern: be King or Anti-King.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

And the strangest thing about the nightmare street was that none of the millions of things for sale were made there. They were only sold there. Where were the workshops, the factories, where were the farmers, the craftsmen, the miners, the weavers, the chemists, the carvers, the dyers, the designers, the machinists, where were the hands, the people who made? Out of sight, somewhere else. Behind walls. All the people in all the shops were either buyers or sellers. They had no relation to the things but that of possession.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

This concern, feebly called 'love of nature', seemed to Shevek to be something much broader than love. There are souls, he thought, whose umbilicus has never been cut. They never got weaned from the universe. They do not understand death as an enemy; they look forward to rotting and turning into humus.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

This was the way he had to go; he had no choice. He had never had any choice. He was only a dreamer.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

Crankish attacks on the freedom to read are common at present. When backed and coordinated by organized groups, they become sinister.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

Age and illness made one a dualist

By Anonym 16 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

In this he saw that Ogion had been right: the shadow could not draw on his power, so long as he was turned against it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Ursula K. Le Guin

The bond between true lovers is as close as we come to what endures forever.