A short collection in the Outspoken Authors series, The Wild Girls is a story containing what I've come to recognize as a signature style of Le Guin'sA short collection in the Outspoken Authors series, The Wild Girls is a story containing what I've come to recognize as a signature style of Le Guin's, written with beauty and brutality, wrapped up with a chill at the end. The rest of the slim volume is taken up with (among other things,) an acerbic essay about the commoditization of "reading," several poems (a couple of which also appear in Finding My Elegy,) and an interview.
I'd be hard pressed to say which part of this booklet is the best part, but having seen Ursula at appearances several times, and listened to her talking or reading, it's worth mentioning that the interview is vividly and viscerally like the woman, as it should be. So, let's say that was my favorite.
I leave you with three quotes excerpted from the interview that just about sum things up:
Q: Even though you occupy a pretty high perch in American Letters, you have never hesitated to describe yourself as a science fiction and fantasy author. Are you just being nice, or is there a plot behind this? A: I am nice. Also, the only means I have to stop ignorant snobs from behaving towards genre fiction with snobbish ignorance is not to reinforce their ignorance and snobbery by lying and saying that when I write SF it isn't SF, but to tell them more or less patiently for forty or fifty years that they are wrong to exclude SF and fantasy from literature, and proving my argument by writing well.
Q: Have you ever been attacked by lions? A: Three separate dogs have bitten me, many separate cats have bitten me, and recently my ankles underwent a terrifying siege by a bantam rooster at whom I had to kick dirt until he backed off and stood there all puffed up and shouting bad language like a Republican on Fox TV. Who needs lions?
Q: I'm working on the cover copy for this book right now. Is it OK if I call your piece on modesty "the single greatest thing ever written on the subject"? A: I think "the single finest, most perceptive, most gut-wrenchingly incandescent fucking piece of prose ever not written by somebody called Jonathan something" might be more precise.
Worth every penny, and every moment spent reading. ...more
I started this installment in the Dune series about 5 years ago, and it has been sitting on the shelf with a bookmark about 200 pages from the end eveI started this installment in the Dune series about 5 years ago, and it has been sitting on the shelf with a bookmark about 200 pages from the end ever since. This trilogy is less compelling that the Houses trilogy, which is less rich than Frank Herbert's original series. I'm invested in the story though, so every so often I have a compulsion to continue reading, in spite of the lack of richness and meaning in Herbert the Younger's continuation of the series.
Frank Herbert had so much to say regarding religion and faith, ecology, political machinations, indeed you could point an accusing finger at heinleinesque editorializing in the original series. (I must confess, I love these sections.) The trilogies, however, never realize the same heart that was invested in Dune,et al., and while it does more than a passable job of space opera/battle fiction, there always seems to be something missing.
I keep reminding myself that Frank Herbert left copious notes on his continuing story ideas, and for this reason, I keep reading these. Sometimes I like to imagine that I see a bit of Frank peeking through these novels, especially where he has something potentially profound to observe on his original themes. My primary reason for diving in and finishing this, is to close that storyline in anticipation of Sisterhood. The Bene Gesserit threads are by far the most interesting to me, so I will be reading that one soon....more