Ursula Le Guin crosses to the dry land

author avatar by 5 years ago

Ursula Le Guin has crossed the low wall into a dry land of lightless cities.

Le Guin, whose career spanned decades, wrote of the power of words and names and ideas and how their use creates and destroys the worlds we inhabit.

She produced work that defied the conventions of genre, and found a power in exploring complex concepts of humanity and society with simple ideas.

By taking us to different worlds she sought to hold up a mirror to ourselves – and gained fame and awards in doing so, but never lost a clarity of self or her puckish sense of humour. When asked to explain what her writing meant, she replied ‘That’s not my job – it’s yours’.

Her most powerful image was that of a low wall atop a hillside, easily crossed and beyond which stretches a land of dust where there are no names, no words, no ideas, just shades of what once was.

But in death, there comes forth life. In the rise of the sun and the flight of an eagle and the green of the trees.

Because life is not in the simple mechanical act of existing; it is in the singing of songs and the telling of tales, in creation and growth. And that is where she lives.

And today, there may be one more dragon.