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Preview — The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #5)
Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. he will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian m...more
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So, what is it she's saying that's so important? I've read the book several times since I first came ...more
by Ursula K. Le Guin.
this excellent novel-cum-political treatise-cum-extended metaphor for the States lays its thesis out in parallel narratives. in the present day (far, far, far in the future), heroically thoughtful protagonist Shevek visits the thinly-veiled States of the nation A-Io on the planet Urras in order to both work on his Theory of ...more
I see some reviewers think of The Dispossessed as an anti-Ayn Rand book. I didn't come away with that impression at all. I thought LeGuin did an excellent job of showing the fallac ...more
That I r ...more
Fulfillment, Shevek thought, is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal. The variety seeking of the spectator, the thrill hunter, the sexually promiscuous, always ends in the same place. It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell....more
Outside the locked room is the landscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbabl
It's always easier not to think for oneself. Find a nice safe hierarchy and settle in. Don't make changes, don't risk disapproval[...] It's always easiest to let yourself be governed.
Of the various layers of content in The Dispossessed, the most obvious is the socio-political: capitalism vs. anarchistic-communism. The claim often made is that, even though her heart is with the latter, she nonetheless treats the two structures impartially. The claim or presumption is to be found in the reviews of fantasy/science fiction devotees, those with a particular interest in anarchism and, I suspect, also those who simply read it with an uncritical eye.
I don ...more
LeGuin's ultimate message is that individual freedom is the most important commodity in the universe. In conveying th ...more
At the center of the novel is the planet Anarres. Annares is populated by a community of anarchists, whose ascendants have left Anarres's sister planet Urras almost 200 years prior to escape its oppressive regimes and to establis ...more
The great SF writers (Asimov, Vonnegut, Heinlein, Dick, Bradbury, etc) have been ...more
The way the story is told in the past, so we learn things as they're revealed rather than as the characters are experiencing them, provides a disconnect. Perhaps it is meant to serve to point out the universality of the themes - but I found that it made me feel distanced, as if none of the story mattered.
I suppose if I were younger and still interested in political ideas and revolutions, if I hadn't read, and lived through, lots of other ...more
Although Le Guin doesn't offer all the answers, she does pose many questions in new light and with a clarity that takes your breath away. Revolution, anarchy, profit, the role of language in shaping how we think, the motivation for excluding women from education, the drivers of scientific research, ethics, the nature of time, ownership, power, love, sa ...more
The Dispossessed holds up amazingly well for a book written nearly forty (!) years ago. In fact, forget about the publication date and it could have been written this year. Except that hardly anyone writes this kind of slow-moving, thoughtful, idea-heavy science fiction any more. The Dispossessed won a Hugo, a Nebula, a World Fantasy Award, and the Natio ...more
I'm giving it two stars b ...more
What is Freedom? Ursula K. Le Guin gave what I believe to be the best answer to this question. She shouts about how Freedom is by no means synonymous to a risk-free life. It will absolutely entail hardship, heavy labor and insecurity. I remember once reading an interview with Chomsky where he was asked about Anarchism and how the Anarchist society might be. He answered that there are no ready-made answers to this question. He stressed that "we have to try and see". I found hi ...more
It is interesting to see this book chosen as the October selection for the goodreads group, "Literary Explorations." I do not know how the book was chosen, as I am new to the group. However, I launched into "The Dispossessed" with as much determination as I did the first time I read it.
My inarticulate summary doesn't give the slightest hint of how incredible this book is. Le Guin turns her thoughtful, earthy eye on each form of government and lifestyle in the 9 Known Worlds, from the utilitarian anarchists to the ov ...more
Thank God for Ayn Rand, who reminds me that the problem exists on the other side too. I guess it's not the belief that sucks; it's the believing. If you have something to say about humans, then you're writing a novel. If you have something to say about ideology, ...more
The Dispossessed is a complex novel. It's not complex in terms of structure or themes; it's not a hard book to read. Quite the opposite. But it manages to touch on so many aspects of the human experience at once that it's hard to sum up what makes it so fascinating.
At the heart of it all is Shevek. Shevek, so complex and delightful to read ...more
In the afternoon, when he cautiously looked outside, he saw an armored car stationed across the street and two others slewed across the street at the crossing. That explained the shouts he had been hearing: it would be soldiers giving orders to each other.
Atro had once explained to him how this was manage ...more
I fear my review might focus more on Anarres and less on Urras, as it was the Anarrian sections that interested me more, the attempts to sustain (founding was the easy part) an anarcho-syndicalist society over a long period of time. For Urras, I thought that Urras was painted in clear terms, and avoided a polemic, although it did have very pointed things to say about class, and war, and conscription, and property, and the gendering thereof ...more
|Goodreads Librari...: Fix page count||2||93||Nov 04, 2014 07:03PM|
|500 Great Books B...: The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin - Matt||2||4||Nov 02, 2014 12:17PM|
|Baltimore Book Cl...: Dates||2||14||Oct 16, 2014 05:15PM|
|This is the kind of book that grows on you||5||44||Sep 12, 2014 12:17PM|
|Le Guin vs Rand||6||101||Jul 18, 2014 12:39PM|
|Victoria BC scien...: Chapter 10-13||2||3||May 18, 2014 02:34PM|
|Victoria BC scien...: Chapter 7-9||2||1||May 17, 2014 12:15PM|