The Left Hand of Darkness Quotes

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The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #4) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
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The Left Hand of Darkness Quotes Showing 1-30 of 291
“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
“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
“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
“Truth is a matter of the imagination.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“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
“A profound love between two people involves, after all, the power and chance of doing profound hurt.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth. The only truth I can understand or express is, logically defined, a lie. Psychologically defined, a symbol. Aesthetically defined, a metaphor.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“It is a terrible thing, this kindess that human beings do not lose. Terrible, because when we are finally naked in the dark and cold, it is all we have. We who are so rich, so full of strength, we end up with that small change. We have nothing else to give. ”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“I certainly wasn't happy. Happiness has to do with reason, and only reason earns it. What I was given was the thing you can't earn, and can't keep, and often don't even recognize at the time; I mean joy.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“No, I don't mean love, when I say patriotism. I mean fear. The fear of the other. And its expressions are political, not poetical: hate, rivalry, aggression.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“The artist deals with what cannot be said in words.

The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words. The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“If civilization has an opposite, it is war.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“A man wants his virility regarded. A woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. [Here] one is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience.”
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“Science fiction is not prescriptive; it is descriptive.”
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.”
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“For it seemed to me, and I think to him, that it was from that sexual tension between us, admitted now and understood but not assuaged, that the great and sudden assurance of friendship between us rose: a friendship so much needed by us both in our exile, and already so well proved in the days and nights of our better journey, that it might as well be called, now as later, love. But it was from the difference between us, not from the affinities and likenesses, but from the difference, that that love came: and it was itself the bridge, the only bridge, across what divided us. For us to meet sexually would be for us to meet once more as aliens. We had touched, in the only way we could touch. We left it at that. I do not know if we were right.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
tags: love
“How does one hate a country, or love one?... 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 a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is the love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“To oppose something is to maintain it.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“But it doesn't take a thousand men to open a door, my lord."

"It might to keep it open.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“To exhibit the perfect uselessness of knowing the answer to the wrong question.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
tags: 42
“The unknown," said Faxe's soft voice in the forest, "the unforetold, the unproven, that is what life is based on. Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action. If it were proven that there is no God there would be no religion. No Handdara, no Yomesh, no hearthgods, nothing. But also if it were proven that there is a God, there would be no religion. ... Tell me, Genry, what is known? What is sure, unpredictable, inevitable -- the one certain thing you know concerning your future, and mine?"

That we shall die."

Yes, There's really only one question that can be answered, Genry, and we already know the answer. ... 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
“The Gethenians do not see one another as men or women. This is almost impossible for our imaginations to accept. After all, what is the first question we ask about a newborn baby? ....there is no division of humanity into strong and weak halves, protected/ protective. One is respected and judged only as a human being. You cannot cast a Gethnian in the role of Man or Woman, while adopting towards 'him' a corresponding role dependant on your expetations of the interactions between persons of the same or oppositve sex. It is an appalling experience for a Terran ”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“To be an atheist is to maintain God. His existence or his non existence, it amounts to much the same, on the plane of proof. Thus proof is a word not often used among the Handdarata, who have chosen not to treat God as a fact, subject either to proof or to belief: and they have broken the circle, and go free.
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
“Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“There is neither source nor end, for all things are in the Center of Time. As all the stars may be reflected in a round raindrop falling in the night: so too do all the stars reflect the raindrop. There is neither darkness nor death, for all things are, in the Light of the Moment, and their end and their beginning are one.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“I suppose the most important thing, the heaviest single factor in one's life, is whether one's born male or female. In most societies it determines one's expectations, activities, outlook, ethics, manners—almost everything. Vocabulary. Semiotic usages. Clothing. Even food. Women... women tend to eat less... It's extremely hard to separate the innate differences from the learned ones. Even where women participate equally with men in the society, they still after all do all the childbearing, and so most of the child-rearing....”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
“One voice speaking truth is a greater force than fleets and armies...”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

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