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Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness

(Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A collection of nine critical essays on the modern social science fiction novel, arranged in chronological order of their original publication.
Hardcover, 150 pages
Published June 1st 1987 by Chelsea House Publications (first published May 1987)
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Alex
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Highly informative analysis of a work that I admire more having read these essays. Some arguments were a little thin, or difficult for me to fully comprehend (thus being well worth re-reading), but every essay contained at least one insight that brought the incredible complexity and attention to detail in Le Guin's utopian/androgynous/dualist/Taoist narrative into better conceptual focus. ...more
James McVey
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
"Light is the left hand of darkness
and darkness is 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."

An interplanetary envoy, Genly Ai embarks on a journey through the deceptive sphere of politics on Winter, and ultimately across the Gobrin Ice. Ursula K. Le Guin's pre novel assertions, "all fiction is metaphor", and "science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive", alert the reader that no matter t
...more
Carl
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, this convinces me that SciFi is not my cup of tea but this was an enjoyable read nevertheless. The biggest point of exploration here is the possibility of undifferentiated sex with intermittent periods of activity. What would people be like if they were male & female at the same time?
Ben
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, fiction
My first Ursula K. Le Guin, and now I understand why she has conflicted feelings about being assigned the sci-fi genre, even though it clearly is. This is a great demonstration of how rich sci-fi can be without battle, monsters, or cheap gimmicks. I'm looking forward to more of her stuff. ...more
Jennifer
Sep 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book read less like fiction and more like an anthropology/political commentary. Very boring. Couldn't finish. ...more
Scott Wilder
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's incredible how much she packs into such a small space. ...more
Emily
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was very impressed by Le Guin's writing. Her language is gorgeous, her descriptions vivid. Topics in the book are very thought provoking. However, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. ...more
Pau
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
The essays are of varying quality. Some aren't as insightful as one would hope. Others, particularly the later essays, did give me new ways to think about Le Guin's works as well as how to better express some of the thoughts had already been there. ...more
Sarah Tavis
Jan 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
By shifting gender perceptions, Le Guin has offered her readers another way to look at politics, fear, and how the body is shaped and shaped both.
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Harold Bloom was an American literary critic and the Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than forty books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He edited hundreds of anthologies.

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