A Rant About Technology: Ursula Le Guin

Posted: July 16th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Art | No Comments »

I absolutely adore Ursula K. Le Guin, and plan to have all her wonderful works available to my children (currently trying to buy and distribute them throughout my friend circle- the books I always buy for boyfriends and girlfriends are Days of War, Nights of Love by crimethinc and The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin). She writes beautifully and regularly about sexual fluidity and moving beyond gender roles, and about environmentalism sown into the roots of societies that she creates (also about societies where this isn’t necessarily and naturally interlaced with everyday living, ahem).

I know that she doesn’t necessarily like to be quoted elsewhere besides her site. So in fact, I believe I’ll just link to her site. But I wanted to comment "Exactly right, thank you!" so badly that I had to disseminate.

Here is something intriguing that she’s written, sort of a critique of a review that says that in the book I’m reading now, Changing Planes, technology is avoided.

http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Note-Technology.html

I first discovered Le Guin looking through a list of the supposed greatest sci fi writers of all time (yes i wrote them all down to take to the used book store whenever i went, i’m a nerd). She was one of the only women on this list, so of course I was intrigued. Although she avoids this point in her ‘rant,’ it does not surprise me that her writing is perceived to be less technologically based (which as she makes clear, is a product of this hi/lo technology false dichotomy). As she makes clear, nothing could be farther from the truth. Her books tell of a wide variety of technologies that could be, showing how they are integrated into a thousand different beautiful societies that she has created. The technologies she speaks of may be considered primitive; but not only are they the basis of existing technologies, they are generally FAR more sustainable, earth friendly, and mindful, than, for example, our current earth technology. This is the most important part of the technologies that she speaks of, to me: they bring us closer to the planet that we live on, closer to our natural surroundings. Science Fiction with amazing, futuristic, whooooooo! technology, as much as I love it, rarely takes any of this into account as far as I’ve read.

Just some thoughts :)

Also read Ursula Le Guin, you’ll never look back. I’m tempted to travel to Portland to see her speak somewhere, as she is my last living hero-author.

I’ve been dying to read more of her articles and books (I may slip out to the bookstore and Obama quarters right now!). Here is her website where she lists comments and books liked (awesome! I wonder what K.V. and HST’s fave’s were (besides goddamn hemingway)):

http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Index-Notes.html#BooksLiked

and her official site:

http://www.ursulakleguin.com/ ursuka_narrowweb__300x431.jpg



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