URSULA K. LE GUIN QUOTES

American author (1929- )

Ursula K. Le Guin quote

If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of these two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

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Those who build walls are their own prisoners.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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You can go home again ... so long as you understand that home is a place where you have never been.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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Success is somebody else's failure.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, Dancing at the Edge of the World

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It is useless work that darkens the heart.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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If you can see a thing whole ... 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 a distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon. The way to see how beautiful life is, is from the vantage point of death.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, Harper's magazine, August 1990

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The explorer who will not come back or send back his ships to tell his tale is not an explorer, only an adventurer; and his sons are born in exile.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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One voice speaking truth is a greater force than fleets and armies.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

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It is hard, I found, to be called traitor. Strange how hard it is, for it's an easy name to call another man.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

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One must work with time and not against it.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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Science fiction is often described, and even defined, as extrapolative. The science fiction writer is supposed to take a trend or phenomenon of the here-and-now, purify and intensify it for dramatic effect, and extend it into the future. "If this goes on, this is what will happen." A prediction is made. Method and results much resemble those of a scientist who feeds large doses of purified and concentrated food additive to mice, in order to predict what may happen to people who eat it in small quantities for a long time. The outcome seems almost inevitably to be cancer. So does the outcome of extrapolation. Strictly extrapolative works of science fiction generally arrive about where the Club of Rome arrives: somewhere between the gradual extinction of human liberty and the total extinction of terrestrial life.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, introduction, The Left Hand of Darkness

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Why can I never set my heart on a possible thing?

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

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No matter how intelligent a man is, he can't see what he doesn't know how to see.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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Revolution is our obligation: our hope of evolution.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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The individual cannot bargain with the State. The State recognizes no coinage but power: and it issues the coin itself.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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No society can change the nature of 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.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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It is of the nature of idea to be communicated: written, spoken, done. The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on crossbreeding, grows better for being stepped on.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Dispossessed

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Truth is a matter of the imagination. The soundest fact may fail or prevail in the style of its telling: like that singular organic jewel of our seas, which grows brighter as one woman wears it and, worn by another, dulls and goes to dust.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

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Nothing succeeds like success.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

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