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There is nothing you can do that profit does not enter into, and fear of loss, and wish for power. You cannot say good morning without knowing which of you is 'superior' to the other, or trying to prove it. You cannot act like a brother to other people, you must manipulate them, or command them, or obey them, or trick them. You cannot touch another person, yet they will not leave you alone. There is no freedom.


Ursula K. Le Guin

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More Ursula K. Le Guin

It is what it looks like and is called. A jail. it is not a front for something else, not a facade, ...
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Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic.
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To oppose something is to maintain it.
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There are no right answers to wrong questions.
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The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself.
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Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further development.
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Heaven and earth
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name’s the mother
of the ten thousand things...
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No man, no power, can bind the action of wizardry or still the words of power. For they are the very...
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The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering hap...
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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 ...
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It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
To see that your life is a story while you're in the middle of living it may be a help to living it ...
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He had been taught as a child that Urras was a festering mass of inequity, iniquity, and waste. But ...
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The Encyclopedia Planaria, in forty-four volumes, is not portable, and after all, what is entirely r...
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My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and fought and go...
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In our loss and fear we craved the acts of religion, the ceremonies that allow us to admit our helpl...
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This was the way he had to go; he had no choice. He had never had any choice. He was only a dreamer.
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In feudal times the aristocracy had sent their sons to university, conferring superiority on the ins...
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There are talking dogs all over the place, unbelievably boring they are, on and on and on about sex ...
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They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the
darkness, and they do not come back. The place they...
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There must be darkness to see the stars.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Belief is the wound that knowledge heals.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
A promise is a direction taken, a self-limitation of choice. As Odo pointed out, if no direction is ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The fish in the creek said nothing. Fish never do. Few people know what fish think about injustice, ...
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On the blank leaf glued to the inner back cover I drew the double curve within the circle, and black...
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I know who I was, I can tell you who I may have been, but I am, now, only in this line of words I wr...
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I have given my love to what is worthy of love. Is that not the kingdom and the unperishing spring?
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You don't speak of dreams as unreal. They exist. They leave a mark behind them.
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We make sense of the world intentionally. Faced with chaos, we seek or make the familiar, and build ...
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So the first step out of childhood is made all at once, without looking before or behind, without ca...
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He said after a little while, 'I see why you say that only men do evil, I think. Even sharks are inn...
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Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibi...
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Yet we were rescued by that fancy, and saved by a myth.
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You will die. You will not live forever. Nor will any man nor any thing. Nothing is immortal. But on...
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Do you see how an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it h...
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There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that di...
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On the sea he wished to meet it, if meet it he must. He was not sure why this was, yet he had a terr...
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A man would know the end he goes to, but he cannot know it if he does not turn, and return to his be...
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Why is it that if you say you don’t enjoy using an e-reader, or that you aren’t going to get one...
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Truth is a matter of the imagination.
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When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.
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I never knew anybody . . . who found life simple. I think a life or a time looks simple when you lea...
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If you want your writing to be taken seriously, don't marry and have kids, and above all, don...
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As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we a...
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The artist deals in what cannot be said in words. The artist whose medium is fiction does this in wo...
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What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?
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It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.
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There was a wall. It did not look important. It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared. An adult ...
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Nobody who says, ‘I told you so’ has ever been, or will ever be, a hero.
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The best I can say, it's like this. A man's in his skin, see, like a nut in its shell ... It's hard ...
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Oh, never and forever aren't for mortals, love. But we won't be parted till I know it's right that w...
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The explorer who will not come back or send back his ships to tell his tale is not an explorer, only...
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Life rises out of death, death rises out of life; in being opposite they yearn to each other, they g...
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I always wondered why the makers leave housekeeping and cooking out of their tales. Isn't it what al...
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'The fact is,' I said, 'that you're unable, or unwilling, to believe in the fact that I believe in ...
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Anyhow they’re always exceptions. But most women, their only relationship to a man is having. Eith...
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We have nothing but our freedom. We have nothing to give you but your own freedom. We have no law bu...
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My dogs have barked at a beggar tonight and he proves a prince of starlight.
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A profound love between two people involves, after all, the power and chance of doing profound hurt.
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We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending. Each one of us gets lost in the fore...
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Where does your soul go, when you die in Hell?
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Death and life are the same thing-like the two sides of my hand, the palm and the back. And still th...
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If one believes that words are acts, as I do, then one must hold writers responsible for what their ...
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War as a moral metaphor is limited, limiting, and dangerous. By reducing the choices of action to ...
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I had forgotten how much light there is in the world, till you gave it back to me.
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The duty of the individual is to accept no rule, to be the initiator of his own acts, to be responsi...
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I believe that all novels, ... deal with character, and that it is to express character – not to p...
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To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single, small improvement: t...
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In reading a novel, any novel, we have to know perfectly well that the whole thing is nonsense, and ...
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There's a good deal in common between the mind's eye and the TV screen, and though the TV se...
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They made love. Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made al...
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I did a lot today. That is, I did something. The only thing I have ever done. I pressed a button. It...
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It was more than dignity. Integrity? Wholeness? Like a block of wood not carved. The infinite possib...
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A person who believes, as she did, that things fit: that there is a whole of which one is a part, an...
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You have to help another person. But it's not right to play God with masses of people. To be God you...
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For in this love he now felt there was compassion: without which love is untempered, and is not whol...
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No darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars.
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She'll die.'
'Aye. That's a consequence of being alive.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Why are men afraid of women?"
If your strength is only the other's weakness, you live in fear,"...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
This Stone

He went looking for a road
that doesn't lead to death.
He went looki...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Infinite are the arguments of mages,
URSULA K. LE GUIN
A rock is a good thing, too, you know. If the Isles of Earthsea were all made of diamond, we'd lead ...
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From that time forth he believed that the wise man is one who never sets himself apart from other li...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
It is a great deal to ask of a kitten, to defend a man against the armies of the dead.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
He was appalled by the examination system, when it was explained to him, he could not imagine a grea...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I suppose the most important thing, the heaviest single factor in one's life, is whether one's born ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I believe that maturity is not an outgrowing, but a growing up: that an adult is not a dead child, b...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
To light a candle is to cast a shadow.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
In so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, th...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain...
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My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world, and exiles me from it.
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I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust every...
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We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps chan...
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If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a...
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The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering hap...
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When in the Land of Property think like a propertarian. Dress like one, eat like one, act like one, ...
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Those whom heaven helps we call the sons of heaven. They do not learn this by learning. They do not ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Se...
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Ai taught me a Terran game played on squares with little stones, called go, an excellent difficult g...
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They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go t...
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To light a candle is to cast a shadow...
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I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow...
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Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk's flight on th...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. An...
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To make a thief, make an owner; to create crime, create laws.
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He explained to Atro that he now understood why the army was organized as it was. It was indeed quit...
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I use your love as a man burns a candle, burns it away, to light his steps.
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A forest ecology is a delicate one. If the forest perishes, its fauna may go with it. The Athshean w...
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Things don't have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful functio...
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Oh, Hank," Susan whispered, "their wings are furry."

"Oh, James," Harriet whispered, "the...
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In many college English courses the words “myth” and “symbol” are given a tremendous charge ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It ...
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What good is power when you're too wise to use it?
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For those who seek allegory, it must be maddening. (It must be allegory! Of course Frodo is Christ! ...
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The experience was disagreeable. I began to feel like an atheist praying.
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But need alone is not enough to set power free: there must be knowledge.
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While we read a novel, we are insane—bonkers. We believe in the existence of people who aren't the...
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The individual cannot bargain with the State. The State recognizes no coinage but power: and it issu...
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I don’t like making the rest of the world live in my dreams, but I certainly don’t want to live ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
A person is defined solely by the extent of his influence over other people, by the sphere of his in...
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George, it's impossible to correct a defective reality-orientation overnight.
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Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made...
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But now his dry and silent grieving for his lost wife must end, for there she stood, the fierce, rec...
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For discipline is the channel in which our acts run strong and deep; where there is no direction, th...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I am tired of safe places, and roofs, and walls around me.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
What is evil?" asked the younger man. The round web, with its black center, seemed to watch them bot...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems go...
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A man does not make his destiny: he accepts it or denies it.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell you it again when you're fifty, tho...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Yet a greater, unlearned skill he possessed, which was the art of kindness.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Later, when Ged thought back upon that night, he knew that had none touched him when he lay thus spi...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Who knows a man's name, holds that man's life in his keeping. Thus to Ged, who had lost faith in him...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Not even need and love can defeat fate...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what come...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain't ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet I would remember that once I saw the...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
But it is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, m...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
What is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where th...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
They have nothing to give. They have no power of making. All their power is to darken and destroy. T...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words a...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
To oppose something is to maintain it... You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal; the...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real, but they also know that books about unicor...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I always wondered why the makers leave housekeeping and cooking out of their tales. Isn't it what al...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Do you see, Arren, how an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
To use the enemy's weapon is to play the enemy's game...speak the truth and hear the truth.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
And the strangest thing about the nightmare street was that none of the millions of things for sale ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Men call women faithless, changeable, and though they say it in jealousy of their own ever-threatene...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
So maybe the difference isn't language. Maybe it's this: animals do neither good nor evil. They do a...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
What are we so afraid of? Why don't we let 'em tell us we're afraid? What is it they're afraid of?" ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
But each deed you do, each act, binds you to itself and to its consequences, and makes you act again...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, including good-natured men.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
A machine is more blameless, more sinless even than any animal. It has no intentions whatsoever but ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
On top of pique, umbrage, and ennui. Oh, the French diseases of the soul.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the ti...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Saying that, he was suddenly himself again, despite his lunatic hair and eyes: a man whose personal ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
We're in the world, not against it. It doesn't work to try to stand
outside things and run them...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the ti...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Now they came back to him, on this night he was seventeen years old. All the years and places of his...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
That is between me and my shadow.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Ged had neither lost nor won but, naming the shadow of his death with his own name, had made himself...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
It is no secret. All power is one in source and end, I think. Years and distances, stars and candles...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
You fear them because you fear death, and rightly: for death is terrible and must be feared,' the ma...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
We men dream dreams, we work magic, we do good, we do evil. The dragons do not dream. They are dream...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I don't write tracts, I write novels. I'm not a preacher, I'm a fiction writer.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what come...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
If a book were written all in numbers, it would be true. It would be just. Nothing said in words eve...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
War as a moral metaphor is limited, limiting, and dangerous. By reducing the choices of action to ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
But it doesn't take a thousand men to open a door, my lord."

"It might to keep it open.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
He was born to be alone, a damned cold intellectual, an egoist.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of a...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I was with you at the beginning of your journey. It is right that I should follow you to its end.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
But I can't say that gratitude was my motive for infringing on the Law of Cultural Embargo. I was no...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I know that I am going to meet a personal variation on reality; a partial view of reality. But I kno...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The social function of narrative is not limited to 'primitive' people sitting around the fire tellin...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
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
Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
"In innocence there is no strength against evil," said Sparrowhawk, a little wryly. "But there is ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact you could say ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The children of the revolution are always ungrateful, and the revolution must be grateful that it is...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, make...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
He tried to read an elementary economics text; it bored him past endurance, it was like listening to...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I do try to separate my personal activism - showing up at a demonstration or something - from what I...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
The creative adult is the child who has survived.
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He is far too intelligent to become really cerebral.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil ...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
Some dreams tell us what we wish to believe. Some dreams tell us what we fear. Some dreams are of wh...
URSULA K. LE GUIN
I bid your voice be dumb until the day you find a word worth speaking.
URSULA K. LE GUIN