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Ursula K. Le Guin Quotes (100 Quotes)


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  • He knew now, and the knowledge was hard, that his task had never been to undo what he had done, but to finish what he had begun.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Wizard of Earthsea")

  • 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: An Ambiguous Utopia")

  • 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")

  • Progress means nothing to presence.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Left Hand of Darkness")

  • I had forgotten how much light there is in the world, till you gave it back to me.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Wizard of Earthsea")


  • He explained to Atro that he now understood why the army was organized as it was. It was indeed quite necessary. No rational form of organization would serve the purpose. He simply had not understood that the purpose was to enable men with machine guns to kill unarmed men and women easily and in great quantities when told to do so. Only he still could not see where courage, or manliness, or fitness entered in.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia")

  • At the pit's bottom is no anger.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Left Hand of Darkness")

  • Science fiction is not prescriptive; it is descriptive.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Left Hand of Darkness")

  • In that moment Ged understood the singing of the bird, and the language of the water falling in the basin of the fountain, and the shape of the clouds, and the beginning and end of the wind that stirred the leaves; it seemed to him that he himself was a word spoken by the sunlight.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Wizard of Earthsea")

  • He was appalled by the examination system, when it was explained to him, he could not imagine a greater detterent to the natural wish to learn than this pattern of cramming in information and disgorging it on demand.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia")

  • Compare the torrent and the glacier. Both get where they are going.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Left Hand of Darkness")

  • Sometimes you must go against the wheel's turn.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Left Hand of Darkness")

  • It is no secret. All power is one in source and end, I think. Years and distances, stars and candles, water and wind and wizardry, the craft in a man's hand and the wisdom in a tree's root: they all arise together. My name, and yours, and the true name of the sun, or a spring of water, or an unborn child, all are syllables of the great word that is very slowly spoken by the shining of the stars. There is no other power. No other name.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Wizard of Earthsea")

  • If a book were written all in numbers, it would be true. It would be just. Nothing said in words ever came out quite even. Things in words got twisted and ran together, instead of staying straight and fitting together. But underneath the words, at the center, like the center of the Square, it all came out even. Everything could change, yet nothing would be lost. If you saw the numbers you could see that, the balance, the pattern. You saw the foundations of the world. And they were solid.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia")

  • Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.
    (Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Left Hand of Darkness")


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