luka

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Staff member
i feel like there's potentially interesting conversations to be had about this writer. i can just sense it, hovering there.
 

luka

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Their low population density means that they can feed themselves from their land. The Kesh maintain this low population without coercion, which would be antithetical to their loosely organized society. They carry a large accumulation of genetic damage, which leads to fewer successful pregnancies and higher infant mortality. They also have social taboos against multiple siblings and early pregnancies; a third child is considered shameful, and the Dayao's practice of large families is referred to as "incontinence". Abortions are practiced freely.
 

luka

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The misogyny and hierarchy present in the authoritarian society of Urras is absent among the anarchists, who base their social structure on cooperation and individual liberty
 

luka

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Orrec and Gry realize that the powers their people possess can be used in two ways: for control and dominion, or for healing and nurturing.
 

luka

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Many of the protagonists in Earthsea were dark-skinned individuals, in comparison to the white-skinned heroes more traditionally used; some of the antagonists, in contrast, were white-skinned
 

luka

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Not sure. I've nevre read a bad one. Maybe the first Earthsea book, or maybe The Disposseesed.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
I bought a copy of left hand of darkness a while ago, still not read it, but i did read the introduction and liked that, about how the artist's business is lying: "Distrust everything I say, I am telling the truth." It's a good little essay.

Heard so many good things about Earthsea so thats on my to read list as well.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Good then? I'm gonna give it a go when I finish the book I'm reading atm. I bet Droid has read all her stuff and has interesting stuff to say about it
 

luka

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i like those books where you take a person from one society and put them into another one, totally weird and alien to them so they can observe it as an outsider while at the same time becoming an outsider to their own native culture, it gets denaturalised as they gain distance from it.
 

luka

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those Doris Lesing Shikasta books work in the same way, or at least, that's how I remember them
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Always Coming Home is one of the most imaginative books I've ever read. It's a masterpiece.

It's in the form of series of 4th wall breaking stories and anthropological documents exploring a future "utopia", rather heavily drawing on Native American civilisation. Scare quotes because it's utopian status is something that's explored and deconstructed over the course of the book. The differing documents allow lots of differing, contradictory ideas and perspectives to be explored. It really is something wonderful.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I thought I'd read the first Earthsea book ages ago but I happened across some remark about reading it in my diary from March this year — and how it was helping take my mind off COVID. I also wrote that Ged's need to run after his fear to rob it of its power was somehow simliar to the psychedelic experience of ego death as described in Pollan's book that I'd read not long before.

Anyway, I loved that book and i really should get around to reading the second one soon.

It's a good one to compare to Harry Potter because there are certain similarities in the story (wizard school) but the concept of magic is entirely different in Earthsea, much less arbitrary and shallow. It's also a thousand times better written, of course. But it's also very unworldly, unlike HP, which makes magic pedestrian — which is actually part of the appeal of those books, because it makes it seem like the magical world exists right alongside our mundane world, and isn't actually all that different. And HP, for all its faults, has "relatable" lead characters and is often quite funny — Earthsea is (as far as I recall) entirely humourless.

Apparently the Ghibli Earthsea adaptation (Directed by Miyazake's son) is one of the very few Ghibli duds. When I read AWOES I definitely could see how it must have inspired Ghibli/Miyizake. That same sense of magic as lofty, mysterious, beyond human understanding.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
i've been wanting to read her books, which should i get?
a bunch, but I'd vote for The Dispossessed first

the best attempt I know of by an author to imagine what a fictional anarchist society - not one in the midst of revolution or war, but fully established - would look like, including potential flaws, form a sympathetic viewpoint. the most direct of her many passes at - as danny noted - deconstructing utopias (for the most allegorical see "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas").
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Anyone else read Always Coming Home? I'd like to compare notes.

I think there's a matter of factness about her descriptions of this utopia as well. A kind of inevitability, almost, we will be living like that once we get over some of our bullshit. It's a bit like her descriptions of magic in Earthsea for me. It's not that it's not spectucular, but a sense of "oh, that's what it'd like if it worked".
 

luka

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my friend has just started it. that was the prompt for this thread. i've not read it yet but i'll borrow it when theyve done with it
 
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