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Top 500 Ursula K. Le Guin Quotes (2023 Update)
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Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “All the higher, more penetrating ideals are revolutionary. They present themselves far less in the guise of effects of past experience than in that of probable causes of future experience, factors to which the environment and the lessons it has so far taught us must learn to bend.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “My mother was mad, but I was not. My father was old, but I was young. Like Spartan Helen, I caused a war. She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her. I caused mine because I wouldn’t be given, wouldn’t be taken, but chose my man and my fate.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “He listened to the radio, but it would not listen to him. He was all alone, and nothing seemed to be real in solitude. He needed somebody, anybody, to talk to, he had to tell them what he felt so that he knew if he felt anything.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “The prisoner is the jailer’s jailer.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “In other ways my story didn’t follow the tradition. Its subversive elements attracted little attention, no doubt because I was deliberately sneaky about them. A great many white readers in 1967 were not ready to accept a brown-skinned hero. But they weren’t expecting one. I didn’t make an issue of it, and you have to be well into the book before you realize that Ged, like most of the characters, isn’t white.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Lord Berosty rem ir Ipe came to Thangering Fastness and offered forty beryls and half the year’s yield from his orchards as the price of a Foretelling, and the price was acceptable. He set his question to the Weaver Odren, and the question was, On what day shall I die?”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “At this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “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 Quote: “Almost everything is double like that for adolescents; their lies are true and their truths are lies, and their hearts are broken by the world. They gyre and fall; they see through everything, and are blind.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Our border now is no line between two hills, but the line our planet makes in circling the Sun.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “You are all in jail. Each alone, solitary, with a heap of what he owns. You live in prison, die in prison. It is all I can see in your eyes – the walls, the walls!”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “I’m not a quester or a searcher for the truth. I don’t really think there is one answer, so I never went looking for it. My impulse is less questing and more playful. I like trying on ideas and ways of life and religious approaches. I’m just not a good candidate for conversion.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “By such literalism, fundamentalism, religions betrayed the best intentions of their founders. Reducing thought to formula, replacing choice by obedience, these preachers turned the living word into dead law.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “If memory remains sound and the thinking mind retains its vigor, an old intelligence may have extraordinary breadth and depth of understanding.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Can true function arise from basic dysfunction?”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact you could say music is another way of thinking, or maybe thinking is another kind of music.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “We of Es Toch tell a little myth, which says that in the beginning the Creator told a great lie. For there was nothing at all, but the Creator spoke, saying, It exists. And behold, in order that the lie of God might be God’s truth, the universe at once began to exist.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Manipulated, one manipulates others.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “On the dock Yarrow stood and watched them go, as sailors’ wives and sisters stand on all the shores of all Earthsea watching their men go out on the sea, and they do not wave or call aloud, but stand still in hooded cloak of grey or brown, there on the shore that dwindles smaller and smaller from the boat while the water grows wide between.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “You have not thought things through,” he said. By his standards it was a brutal insult.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Why can I never set my heart on a possible thing?”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Things don’t have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What’s the function of a galaxy? I don’t know if our life has a purpose and I don’t see that it matters. What does matter is that we’re a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass-blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Part of the particular interest and beauty of science fiction and fantasy: writer and reader collaborate in world-making.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “There are things that outweigh comfort, unless one is an old woman or a cat.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Writers need to learn their trade, and how to negotiate the increasingly difficult marketplace. The trade can be taught and learned just as the craft can. But a workshop where the trade is the principal focus of interest is not a writing workshop. It is a business class.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “The counsel of the dead is not profitable to the living.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “The old knowledge had been difficult but not distressing. It had been all paradox and myth, and it had made sense. The new knowledge was all fact and reason, and it made no sense.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Go into a dark bar for a bit and have a beer with Dionysios, every now and then. 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.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “We broke the world to make it whole...”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “True understanding is the spur of genius.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “There’s seldom as much hurry as I used to think there was.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “A lot of snow out of one cloud, and it grows thicker.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “If they come prying they can leave curious.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “I can never get used to the fact, though I know it, that women are born cynics. Men have to learn cynicism. Infant girls could teach it to them.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “The first thing I can remember clearly is writing the way into the secret room.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “As a child in Atuan, Tenar had learned how to learn. There seemed always to be a great deal to be learned, more than she would have believed when she was a prentice-priestess or the pupil of a mage.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Old age isn’t a state of mind. It’s an existential situation.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “To believe that our beliefs are permanent truths which encompass reality is a sad arrogance. To let go of that belief is to find safety.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Not all roads that lead down lead up as well.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Being an irreligious puritan and a rational mystic, I think it’s irresponsible to let a belief think for you or a chemical dream for you.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “A person who believes, as she did, that things fit: that there is a whole of which one is a part, and that in being a part one is whole: such a person has no desire whatever, at any time, to play God. Only those who have denied their being yearn to play at it.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “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 Quote: “I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Even in the obscure vast history of a planet the time it takes to make a forest counts. It takes a while. And not every planet can do it; it is no common effect, that tangling of the sun’s first cool light in the shadow and complexity of innumberable wind-stirred branches.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “Dreams take short cuts.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “By and large books are mankind’s best invention.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “In reading a novel, any novel, we have to know perfectly well that the whole thing is nonsense, and then, while reading, believe every word of it.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “They argued because they liked argument, liked the swift run of the unfettered mind along the paths of possibility, liked to question what was not questioned. They were intelligent, their minds were already disciplined to the clarity of science, and they were sixteen years old. But at this point the pleasure of the argument ceased for Shevek, as it had earlier for Kvetur. He was disturbed.”
Ursula K. Le Guin Quote: “The Tao Te Ching is partly in prose, partly in verse; but as we define poetry now, not by rhyme and meter but as a patterned intensity of language, the whole thing is poetry. I wanted to catch that poetry, its terse, strange beauty. Most translations have caught meanings in their net, but prosily, letting the beauty slip through. And in poetry, beauty is no ornament; it is the meaning. It is the truth. We have that on good authority.”
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