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127

Discussions and Opinions

1
terms
8
notes

K. Le Guin, U. (2004). Discussions and Opinions. In K. Le Guin, U. The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination. Shambhala, pp. 127-222

166

But it gets harder and harder to enjoy facing the mirror. Who is that old lady? Where is her waist? I got resigned, sort of, to losing my dark hair and getting all this limp grey stuff instead, but now am I going to lose even that and end up all pink scalp? [...]

—p.166 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

But it gets harder and harder to enjoy facing the mirror. Who is that old lady? Where is her waist? I got resigned, sort of, to losing my dark hair and getting all this limp grey stuff instead, but now am I going to lose even that and end up all pink scalp? [...]

—p.166 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago
168

Who I am is certainly part of how I look and vice versa. I want to know where I begin and end, what size I am, and what suits me. People who say the body is unimportant floor me. How can they believe that? I don't want to be a disembodied brain floating in a glass jar in a sci-fi movie, and I don't believe I'll ever be a disembodied spirit floating ethereally about. I am not "in" this body, I am this body. Waist or no waist.

But all the same, there's something about me that doesn't change, hasn't changed, through all the remkarkable, exciting, alarming, and disappointing transformations my body has gone through. There is a person who isn't only what she looks like, and to find her and know her I have to look through, look in, look deep. Not only in space, but in time.

I am not lost until I lose my memory.

—p.168 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

Who I am is certainly part of how I look and vice versa. I want to know where I begin and end, what size I am, and what suits me. People who say the body is unimportant floor me. How can they believe that? I don't want to be a disembodied brain floating in a glass jar in a sci-fi movie, and I don't believe I'll ever be a disembodied spirit floating ethereally about. I am not "in" this body, I am this body. Waist or no waist.

But all the same, there's something about me that doesn't change, hasn't changed, through all the remkarkable, exciting, alarming, and disappointing transformations my body has gone through. There is a person who isn't only what she looks like, and to find her and know her I have to look through, look in, look deep. Not only in space, but in time.

I am not lost until I lose my memory.

—p.168 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago
169

My mother died at eighty-three, of cancer, in pain, her spleen enlarged so that her body was misshapen. Is that the person I see when I think of her? Sometimes. I wish it were not. It is a true image, yet it blurs, it clouds, a truer image. It is one memory among fifty years of memories of my mother. It is the last in time. Beneath it, behind it is a deeper, complex, ever-changing image, made from imagination, hearsay, photographs, memories. I see a little red-haired child in the mountains of Colorado, a sad-faced, delicate college girl, a kind, smiling young mother, a brilliantly intellectual woman, a peerless flirt, a serious artist, a splendid cook - I see her rocking, weeding, writing, laughing - I see the turquoise bracelets on her delicate, freckled arm - I see, for a moment, all that at once, I glimpse what no mirror can reflect, the spirit flashing out across the years, beautiful.

That must be what the great artists see and paint. [...]

—p.169 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

My mother died at eighty-three, of cancer, in pain, her spleen enlarged so that her body was misshapen. Is that the person I see when I think of her? Sometimes. I wish it were not. It is a true image, yet it blurs, it clouds, a truer image. It is one memory among fifty years of memories of my mother. It is the last in time. Beneath it, behind it is a deeper, complex, ever-changing image, made from imagination, hearsay, photographs, memories. I see a little red-haired child in the mountains of Colorado, a sad-faced, delicate college girl, a kind, smiling young mother, a brilliantly intellectual woman, a peerless flirt, a serious artist, a splendid cook - I see her rocking, weeding, writing, laughing - I see the turquoise bracelets on her delicate, freckled arm - I see, for a moment, all that at once, I glimpse what no mirror can reflect, the spirit flashing out across the years, beautiful.

That must be what the great artists see and paint. [...]

—p.169 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago
176

[...] the value of the repetitive locutions that mark divisions in Native American oral narratives. Such locutions often begin a sentence, and if translated appear as something like "So, then ..." or "Now, next it happened ..." or just "And." Often discarded as meaningless, as noise, by translators intent on getting the story and its "meaning," these locutions serve a purpose analogous to rhyme in English poetry: they signal the line, which, when there is no regular meter, is a fundamental rhythmic element; and they may also cue the larger, structural rhythmic units that shape the composition.

—p.176 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

[...] the value of the repetitive locutions that mark divisions in Native American oral narratives. Such locutions often begin a sentence, and if translated appear as something like "So, then ..." or "Now, next it happened ..." or just "And." Often discarded as meaningless, as noise, by translators intent on getting the story and its "meaning," these locutions serve a purpose analogous to rhyme in English poetry: they signal the line, which, when there is no regular meter, is a fundamental rhythmic element; and they may also cue the larger, structural rhythmic units that shape the composition.

—p.176 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago
180

In a letter in 1926, Woolf said that what you start with, in writing a novel, "is a world. Then, when one has imagined this world, suddenly people come in." First comes the place, the istuation, then the characters arrive with the plot ... But telling the story is a matter of getting the beat - of becoming the rhythm, as the dancer becomes the dance.

—p.180 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

In a letter in 1926, Woolf said that what you start with, in writing a novel, "is a world. Then, when one has imagined this world, suddenly people come in." First comes the place, the istuation, then the characters arrive with the plot ... But telling the story is a matter of getting the beat - of becoming the rhythm, as the dancer becomes the dance.

—p.180 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

(adjective) cut short; abbreviated / (adjective) marked by or exhibiting syncopation

181

in their counterpoint and syncopation and union, they make the rhyhtm of that novel

—p.181 by Ursula K. Le Guin
notable
1 year, 7 months ago

in their counterpoint and syncopation and union, they make the rhyhtm of that novel

—p.181 by Ursula K. Le Guin
notable
1 year, 7 months ago
183

[...] the story demanded that I be outdoors while writing it - which was lovely in Oregon in July, but inconvenient in November. Cold knees, wet notebook. And the story came not steadily, but in flights - durations of intense perception, sometimes tranquil and lyrical, sometimes frightening - which most often occurred while I was waking, early in the morning. There I would lie and ride the dragon. Then I had to get up, and go sit outdoors, and try to catch that flight in words. If I could hold to the rhythm of the dragon's flight, the very large, long wingbeat, then the story told itself, and the people breathed. When I lost the beat, I fell off, and had to wait around on the ground until the dragon picked me up again.

Waiting, of course, is a very large part of writing.

for me it's more of a lyrical dance but i can relate to this

—p.183 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

[...] the story demanded that I be outdoors while writing it - which was lovely in Oregon in July, but inconvenient in November. Cold knees, wet notebook. And the story came not steadily, but in flights - durations of intense perception, sometimes tranquil and lyrical, sometimes frightening - which most often occurred while I was waking, early in the morning. There I would lie and ride the dragon. Then I had to get up, and go sit outdoors, and try to catch that flight in words. If I could hold to the rhythm of the dragon's flight, the very large, long wingbeat, then the story told itself, and the people breathed. When I lost the beat, I fell off, and had to wait around on the ground until the dragon picked me up again.

Waiting, of course, is a very large part of writing.

for me it's more of a lyrical dance but i can relate to this

—p.183 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago
214

The ruling class is always small, the lower orders large, even in a caste society. The poor always vastly outnumber the rich. The powerful are fewer than those they hold power over. Adult men hold superior status in almost all societies, though they are always outnumbered by women and children. Governments and religions sanction and uphold inequality, social rank, gender rank, and privilege, wholly or selecteively.

Most people, in most places, in most times, are of inferior status.

And most people, even now, even in "the free world," even in "the home of the free," consider this state of affairs, or certain elements of it, as natural, necessary, and unchangeable. They hold it to be the way it has always been and therefore the way it must be. This may be conviction or it may be ignorance; often it is both. Over the centuries, most people of inferior status have had no way of knowing that any other way of ordering society has existed or could exist - that change is possible. Only those of superior status have ever known enough to know that; and it is their power and privilege that would be at stake if the order of things were changed.

We cannot trust history as a moral guide in these matters, because history is written by the superior class, the educated, the empowered. But we have only history to go on, and observation of current events. On that evidence, revolt and rebellion are rare things, revolution extremely rare. In most times, in most places [...] They resist, yes; but their resistance is likely to be passive, or so devious, so much a part of daily behavior, as to be all but invisible.

When voices from the oppressed and hte underclass aer recorded, some are cries for justice, but most are expressions of patriotism, cheers for the king, vows to defend the fatherland, all loyally supporting the system that disenfranchises them and the people who profit from it.

[...]

Working men watch their company's CEO get paid three hundred times what they are paid, and grumble, but do nothing.

—p.214 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

The ruling class is always small, the lower orders large, even in a caste society. The poor always vastly outnumber the rich. The powerful are fewer than those they hold power over. Adult men hold superior status in almost all societies, though they are always outnumbered by women and children. Governments and religions sanction and uphold inequality, social rank, gender rank, and privilege, wholly or selecteively.

Most people, in most places, in most times, are of inferior status.

And most people, even now, even in "the free world," even in "the home of the free," consider this state of affairs, or certain elements of it, as natural, necessary, and unchangeable. They hold it to be the way it has always been and therefore the way it must be. This may be conviction or it may be ignorance; often it is both. Over the centuries, most people of inferior status have had no way of knowing that any other way of ordering society has existed or could exist - that change is possible. Only those of superior status have ever known enough to know that; and it is their power and privilege that would be at stake if the order of things were changed.

We cannot trust history as a moral guide in these matters, because history is written by the superior class, the educated, the empowered. But we have only history to go on, and observation of current events. On that evidence, revolt and rebellion are rare things, revolution extremely rare. In most times, in most places [...] They resist, yes; but their resistance is likely to be passive, or so devious, so much a part of daily behavior, as to be all but invisible.

When voices from the oppressed and hte underclass aer recorded, some are cries for justice, but most are expressions of patriotism, cheers for the king, vows to defend the fatherland, all loyally supporting the system that disenfranchises them and the people who profit from it.

[...]

Working men watch their company's CEO get paid three hundred times what they are paid, and grumble, but do nothing.

—p.214 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago
218

To me the important thing is not to offer any specific hope of betterment but, by offering an imagined but persuasive alternative reality, to dislodge my mind, and so the reader's mind, from the lazy, timorous habit of thinking that the way we live now is the only way people can live. It is that inertia that allows the institutions of injustice to continue unquestioned.

—p.218 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago

To me the important thing is not to offer any specific hope of betterment but, by offering an imagined but persuasive alternative reality, to dislodge my mind, and so the reader's mind, from the lazy, timorous habit of thinking that the way we live now is the only way people can live. It is that inertia that allows the institutions of injustice to continue unquestioned.

—p.218 by Ursula K. Le Guin 1 year, 7 months ago