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Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)

keberoxu 23 Jan 18 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,pauperback 23 Jan 18 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,paperback 23 Jan 18 - 09:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 18 - 09:54 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jan 18 - 02:51 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 Jan 18 - 04:36 AM
SPB-Cooperator 24 Jan 18 - 06:09 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jan 18 - 07:05 AM
nickp 24 Jan 18 - 08:58 AM
Vashta Nerada 24 Jan 18 - 09:03 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 25 Jan 18 - 01:24 PM
Helen 25 Jan 18 - 01:44 PM
keberoxu 25 Jan 18 - 07:30 PM
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Subject: Obit: Ursula Kroeber LeGuin 1929 - 2018
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Jan 18 - 08:35 PM

The USA author Ursula K. LeGuin has died.
It really is the end of a generation.
A vanguard of women writers took on the challenge, decades ago,
of competing with the largely white male authors of science fiction.
The literature has never been the same since.

That whole group of intrepid writers who happened to be women --
Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley . . .
and LeGuin was the last of them.

LeGuin could be like a living reproach.
Relentlessly moral and humane, yet keenly aware of nature.
Her prose seemed so simple but that style is so difficult to master.
AND she raised a family and stayed married to the same spouse the whole time.

Safe Journey Home, Talespinner.


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Subject: RE: Obit: BS: Ursula Kroeber LeGuin 1929 - 2018
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 23 Jan 18 - 09:10 PM

Poem Written in 1991
When the Soviet Union Was Disintegrating
by Ursula K. Le Guin
i
The reason why Iím learning Spanish
by reading Neruda one word at a time
looking most of them up in the dictionary
and the reason why Iím reading
Dickinson one poem at a time
and still not understanding
or liking much, and the reason
why I keep thinking about
what might be a story
and the reason why Iím sitting
here writing this, is that Iím trying
to make this thing.
I am shy to name it.
My father didnít like words like ďsoul.Ē
He shaved with Occamís razor.
Why make up stuff
when thereís enough already?
But I do fiction. I make up.
There is never enough stuff.
So I guess I can call it what I want to.
Anyhow it isnít made yet.
I am trying one way and another
all words ó So itís made out of words, is it?
No. I think the best ones
must be made out of brave and kind acts,
and belong to people who look after things
with all their heart,
and include the ocean at twilight.
Thatís the highest quality
of this thing I am making:
kindness, courage, twilight, and the ocean.
That kind is pure silk.
Mineís only rayon. Words wonít wash.
It wonít wear long.
But then I havenít long to wear it.
At my age I should have made it
long ago, it should be me,
clapping and singing at every tatter,
like Willy said. But the ďmortal dress,Ē
man, thatís me. Thatís not clothes.
That is me tattered.
That is me mortal.
This thing I am making is my clothing soul.
Iíd like it to be immortal armor,
sure, but I havenít got the makings.
I just have scraps of rayon.
I know Iíll end up naked
in the ground or on the wind.
So, why learn Spanish?
Because of the beauty of the words of poets,
and if I donít know Spanish
I canít read them. Because praise
may be the thing Iím making.
And when Iím unmade
Iíd like it to be whatís left,
a wisp of cheap cloth,
a color in the earth,
a whisper on the wind.
Una palabra, un aliento.

ii
So now Iíll turn right round
and unburden an embittered mind
that would rejoice to rejoice
in the second Revolution in Russia
but canít, because it has got old
and wise and mean and womanly
and says: So. The men
having spent seventy years in the name of something
killing men, women, and children,
torturing, running slave camps,
telling lies and making profits,
have now decided
that that something wasnít the right one,
so theyíll do something else the same way.
Seventy years for nothing.

And the dream that came before the betrayal,
the justice glimpsed before the murders,
the truth that shone before the lies,
all that is thrown away.
It didnít matter anyway
because all that matters
is who has the sayso.

Once I sang freedom, freedom,
sweet as a mockingbird.
But I have learned Real Politics.
No freedom for our children
in the world of the sayso.
Only the listening.
The silence all around the sayso.
The never stopping listening.
So I will listen
to women and our children
and powerless men,
my people. And I will honor only
my people, the powerless.

Born in California
But a true Oregonian


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Subject: RE: Obit: BS: Ursula Kroeber LeGuin 1929 - 2018
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 23 Jan 18 - 09:25 PM

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2017/09/25/poem-written-in-1991/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ursula Kroeber LeGuin 1929 - 2018
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 18 - 09:54 PM

She had a remarkable family; her parents were anthropologists (of Ishi fame), her brother was Karl Kroeber, a literary scholar, particularly interested in American Indian literature. She is the best known today in her family, but they were all remarkable.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 02:51 AM

There's a nice piece on her on All Things Considered on National Public Radio:


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Subject: RE: Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 04:36 AM

Probably best remembered for the "Earthsea" books, and the book of short stories "The Wind's Twelve Quarters"

LeGuin also appeared as a character in the finale of Jack McDevitt's "Ancient Shores". One of a group of characters "parachuted in" to represent the earth's interests.

Another good write gone :(

R.I.P.


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Subject: Obit: Ursula K LeGuin 1921 - 2017
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 06:09 AM

Ursula K LeGuin, science fiction and fantasy writer has died at the age of 88. Mainly known for the Earthsea Series, she was also an award winning author in a male dominated genre, particularly for her novel Left Hand of Darkness.

Her novels and short stories challenged social attitudes and explored alternative anthropological societies.

One of her noted works was The Dispossessed which described where an entire population effectively lived in an anarchistic society.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ursula K LeGuin 1921 - 2017
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 07:05 AM

I found "The Dispossessed" a bit preachy - same for a lot of her stories. The message drove the story far too much. If you want anarchist fiction, read B. Traven instead.

"The Left Hand of Darkness" was the book that most impressed me - very personal (it was written as a kind of tribute to her lesbian daughter) in an intense and completely unexpected way.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)
From: nickp
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 08:58 AM

"I do not care what comes after; I have seen the dragons on the wind of morning."

Earthsea - The Farthest Shore


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Subject: RE: Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 09:03 AM

That NPR story just played here - and I was glad to hear how it tied in the family background (anthropology and literature) into her work. Many authors picked up her world views and moved them forward in their own works.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 25 Jan 18 - 01:24 PM

One of my all-time favourite books on writing & reading is a collection of her pieces, titled The Language of the Night - Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction, which is now ridiculously hard to get ahold of. I read it years ago, and one passage has always stuck in my mind. I copied it out at the time, on a slip of paper which has long since disappeared into some alternative universe. But I pored over it so often that I can pretty accurately quote at least one bit of it. I'm typing from memory so this is partly paraphrase, but:

[U.K.leG]
When people find out I'm a writer, they always want to know the same thing. How did I do it? How do you become a writer, they say to me. So I tell them. How to become a writer:

You write.

Honestly, why do people ask this? I give them the one answer I have, and it's never what they want to hear. Rules, they say. There must be some rules. What are the Rules to becoming a writer? But the only rules I know of are those for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. So the discussion never gets off the ground, and we all stand around on the ruins of the launch pad, arguing.

- - -

Brilliant stuff. Rest in peace, Ursula. Say hi to everybody for us.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)
From: Helen
Date: 25 Jan 18 - 01:44 PM

Keberoxu, that's sad news.

Back in the late '70's I was doing an Honours year in English Literature, and one of the electives was Fantasy & SciFi. I wrote my dissertation on Ursula Le Guin.

I have read all of her novels including the Earthsea Trilogy, and still have them all on my bookshelf. I also read as much as I could of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, C.J. Cherryh, Louise Cooper, etc. I was reading the male authors too, but I liked the different world view presented by the women.

Ave atque vale, Ms Le Guin.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Author Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (1929-2018)
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Jan 18 - 07:30 PM

Thanks for reminding me of C. J. Cherryh, still alive and publishing.

One of my favorite passages near the conclusion of The Other Wind, the final EarthSea volume:

" '...But it is not right to want to die . . . For the very old, the very ill, it may be. But life is given us. Surely it's not wrong to hold and treasure that great gift!'

'Death is also given us,' said the king.

(page 243)


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