7th October 2014
Alleluia to Alison Flood’s celebration of Ursula K Le Guin (Elegant, popular and enduring, 26 September). I’ve been reading and rereading this remarkable woman with untrammelled delight for 40 years. There are so many gifts in her work; perfect pitch for language; endless curiosity and concomitant willingness to be wrong; humour; fine-honed, stellar imagination; the ecology – boundless, intricate, evolving – of her mythic universes, Earthsea and Hain; passion and compassion; a fierce commitment to justice and truth; and a grappling with fundamentalism, particularly patriarchy and war, in all its odium.
And like fireflies all through her work are the aphorisms; ‘When the word becomes not sword but shuttle’ (Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences); ‘If power were trust…’ (Tehanu); ‘They didn’t rule, they only blighted’ (City of Illusions); ‘Belief is the wound that knowledge heals’ (The Telling); ‘…because he didn’t seek for dominance, he was indomitable’ (The Dispossessed); ‘the verb “to be rich” is the same as the verb “to give” ’ (Always Coming Home).
Ms Le Guin, it’s an honour to share a galaxy with you.
Published “Guardian Weekly” Reply