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Ursula K. Le Guin quotes Showing 1-30 of 2,032

“Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
Ursula K. LeGuin
“We're each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wind's Twelve Quarters, Volume 1
“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”
Ursula K. LeGuin
“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
“Nobody who says, ‘I told you so’ has ever been, or will ever be, a hero.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
“Light is the left hand of darkness
and darkness the right hand of light.
Two are one, life and death, lying
together like lovers in kemmer,
like hands joined together,
like the end and the way.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
“But it is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
“Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk's flight
On the empty sky.

—The Creation of Éa
Ursula K. Le Guin
“Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.”
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Tombs of Atuan
“The book itself is a curious artifact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn't have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell it to you again when you're fifty, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you're reading a whole new book."

(Staying Awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading, Harper's Magazine, February 2008)”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“I do not care what comes after; I have seen the dragons on the wind of morning.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore
“I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real, but they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction
“How does one hate a country, or love one? Tibe talks about it; I lack the trick of it. I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That's a good thing, but one mustn't make a virtue of it, or a profession... Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“Truth is a matter of the imagination.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
“The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical...There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“Belief is the wound that knowledge heals.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Telling
“As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

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