9 votes
Accepted

How and why were pronoun genders changed in "Winter's King"?

First general information: Gethenians are androgynous for about 3 weeks every month (period called "somer"), then they develop gender (male or female - any Gethenian can both sire or bear ...
Yasskier's user avatar
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8 votes
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How did one become a Wizard in A Wizard of Earthsea?

In the essay ‘A Description of Earthsea’, included in Tales of Earthsea, Le Guin writes: Among the Hardic-speaking people of the Archipelago, the ability to do magic is an inborn talent, like the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
7 votes

How did Ursula Le Guin translate the Tao Te Ching / Dao De Jing?

Le Guin collaborated with James P. Seaton, professor emeritus of Chinese at UNC-Chapel Hill, who has translated other classical Chinese works (e.g. The Wine of Endless Life: Taoist Drinking Songs from ...
Mark Saltveit's user avatar
6 votes

How did Ursula Le Guin translate the Tao Te Ching / Dao De Jing?

How Did She Write It? The book itself contains a well-supplied appendix, and among those items, you'll find a section, "Concerning This Version," which reads... This is a rendition, not a ...
HoldOffHunger's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Why was Ogion troubled by the name of the ship that Ged took to Roke?

The passage you quote comes only two pages after Ged's first encounter with terrifying magic: As he read it, puzzling out the runes and symbols one by one, a horror came over him. His eyes were ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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5 votes
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What does the raven say to Ged when he first enters the school at Roke?

The raven's words are never explicitly translated, but they are referenced later. In Chapter 6, "Hunted", of the same book A Wizard of Earthsea: Hope and mistrust struggled in Ged’s mind as ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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5 votes

When did Ursula (K) Le Guin use the K on her books and when not?

As far as I know, she always went by Ursula K. Le Guin¹. This is not another case of Iain “Maybe” Banks. (By the way, K is not a middle initial, it's the initial of her maiden name. I don't know why ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
5 votes

Are wizard and mage used interchangeably in Le Guin's Earthsea series?

The section "A Description of Earthsea" at the end of Tales from Earthsea (2001) is explicit about the hierarchy: Witchery was restricted to women. All magic practiced by women was called “...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Why could Dragons lie in Old Speech?

A Wizard of Earthsea has a third-person narrator who is "omniscient" in the sense that the narration dips into the thoughts of multiple characters. But the narration is also limited in the sense that ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

In what ways is The Left Hand of Darkness a feminist novel?

Like others have mentioned, your definition of feminism is too narrow. For argument's sake, we might distinguish between feminist politics and feminist thought or philosophy. Considering the social ...
Josh Friedlander's user avatar
4 votes

Why is the future "a safe, sterile laboratory"?

Ideas can be frightening, and can hurt those who produce them. See for an example the ideas of Galileo, and where they got him - house imprisonment, banned from discussing the heliocentric view. ...
auden's user avatar
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4 votes

Why could Dragons lie in Old Speech?

The Old Speech is not like other languages in the world of Earthsea. In "A Description of Earthsea", the last chapter of Tales from Earthsea (2001), Ursula Le Guin also calls it the True ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why were Ogion's teaching methods so different than the teaching methods in Roke?

The difference between Ogion’s mode of teaching and that of the School of Wizardry on Roke is a dramatization of the themes of A Wizard of Earthsea. There is a sense in which Ogion stands at the end ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
4 votes

Zhuangzi translation in The Lathe of Heaven

After some more searching I found Wikiquote's Zhuangzi page, which points out that the epigraph to chapter three is based upon James Legge's 1891 translation, where the passage (in Chuang Zu XXIII.7) ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Is there a specific order to read Ursula Le Guin's novels and stories?

I read the first four Earthsea books in my adolescence, and in the last several years have been reading Le Guin's adult works and re-reading Earthsea. I would say that there is no strict order that ...
Guildenstern's user avatar
2 votes

How did one become a Wizard in A Wizard of Earthsea?

Gareth Rees's answer covers the most important points, i.e. how to become the sort of wizard that the school of Roke approved of. The last novel in the Earthsea cycle, The Other Wind, mentions that ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
2 votes

How and why were pronoun genders changed in "Winter's King"?

In The Wind's Twelve Quarters (1975), Le Guin included an introduction to each story; the one for Winter's King goes into some detail to discuss the pronouns. It is short, copied out in full here: ...
Vince Bowdren's user avatar
1 vote

In what ways is The Left Hand of Darkness a feminist novel?

It is feminist because none of the inhabitants of Gethen are male or female; they are both. As Genly is the principal narrator of the story, and comes from Terra, he automatically refers to everyone ...
Lizilu's user avatar
  • 425

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