‘We will need writers who remember freedom’

Via Ursula Le Guin’s Viral Video.

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4 Responses to “‘We will need writers who remember freedom’”

  1. tiffany267 Says:

    I love her book “The Left Hand of Darkness”, especially for her imaginative conceptions about gender and sexuality.

    It’s interesting that Ayn Rand, a writer to whom Ursula LeGuin would seemingly bear no relation at all, consistently wrote about the same apparent conflict of the starving artist. One must make money to live, but the literature that makes money is often far beneath (or even opposed to) the very standards that set the artist apart. Like LeGuin, Ayn Rand also yearned for art to be an expression of one’s individual idealism, one’s vision of reality as it ought to be, instead of as it presently is.

    And just like LeGuin, Rand became a hero and a celebrated writer, for better or worse depending on one’s viewpoint. Her books have captured the imaginations of so many readers and truly changed lives around the world, precisely because readers related to that sense of idealism.

    How did this happen?

    Capitalism.

    The very modes of commodification that, admittedly, allow lazy and compromising “artists” to make some money and pass as intellectuals (a dominant theme in Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead”), are precisely the vehicle that catapults great writers and visionaries into our cultural consciousness and elevates the standards and the vision of our more rational readers.

    1000 years ago in the West, knowledge and ideas had to be approved by kings, emperors, and priests and watered down before they could be accessed by the public. No individual could easily share with the world the brilliant and imaginative idealism they possessed. Women’s points of view were strictly repressed by the State and the Church. Though sexism and misogyny are very much still with us, in the business world as elsewhere, women like Ursula LeGuin (and her readers) have a much better hope of expression through capitalism than any other mode of economic interaction ever tried in history. As long as artists continue to be true to their values, sympathetic consumers will respond and everyone can be richer – intellectually and materially – for capitalism.

    Like

    • philebersole Says:

      My favorite Ursula Le Guin novel is THE DISPOSSESSED. I wonder which of the two worlds in that novel an Ayn Rand character would dislike most—the flawed egalitarian utopia of Anarres or the corrupt crony capitalism of Urras.

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  2. prayerwarriorpsychicnot Says:

    “Earthsea” – sheer poetry.

    Like

  3. prayerwarriorpsychicnot Says:

    Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs.

    Like

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