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The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas of Ursula K. Le Guin
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The Found & the Lost discussion > "Hernes" by Ursula K. Le Guin

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 10, 2018 06:49PM) (new)

This is our discussion of the short story....

" Hernes " by Ursula K. Le Guin

(Originally published 1991. Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand)

From the anthology The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas of Ursula K. Le Guin by Ursula K. Le Guin. See The Found and the Lost anthology discussion hub for more info on the anthology and pointers to discussion of its other stories.


message 2: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea | 2561 comments It was ok, though no fantasy aspect for those of us of this group, but I wasn't a huge fan of the random stream of conciousness that many of the sections had, nor the time & POV jumping. I had trouble keeping track of who was who, was getting to the point where I was going to write down the names of everyone and how they interelated to each other, then decided I didn't care enough and just forced myself to get through it.

I could see other people liking it, but it wasn't my cup of tea.


Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments This was the one story of the collection i didn't like, as well. It had lots of good feminist themes but i found it overly long, and lacking a science fictional hook to keep interest.


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 11, 2018 10:48AM) (new)

Well, I guess we can be unanimous on not liking this story.

Way too much jumping around in time for my taste, telling the story of the Herne's family tree through multiple generations. My brain just doesn't work in a way that lets me piece these things together properly. Let's see, it's 1917 so Lily is still a kid in this paragraph? This is the same Lily from 1939? Occasionally I felt there was a story trying to poke out from the jumble, but I could never wrap my brain around it.

The story's penultimate line, "Who is it that lights the light? Whose child are you, who is your child? Whose story will be told?" seems a commentary on the story's organization and my inability to keep the characters & timelines straight!

I understand authors who intersperse some flashbacks at points to illustrate a character's background pertinent to the current thread in the main story, but this seems kind of haphazard to me, like the story was outlined on a bunch of index cards that got dropped on the floor.

Then, in the very last section, titled "Virginia 1975", though I can't see why, when it goes off on a strange fantasy/fairytale/mythology tangent about a woman who, like Persephone, has to keep returning to the underworld with Hades and Charon metaphors, and the best I can do with that is... nothing. I can't grok the payoff. help (I read these two pages 3 times, convinced the key to enlightenment was buried here someplace.)

Then there are some long conversations on relationships, you were unfaithful, I thought we were getting past this, we are, you're not, no you're not,.... this is why I don't read Literature. :)


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