The All-Thing

All carrot and no stick, since ought-three.

題大庾嶺北驛 (宋之問)


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Mon, 21 Jul 2003

The Dispossessed

Been re-reading The Dispossessed again, probably for the tenth time. Which must mean I'm feeling morose, cause it's my favorite book and usually cheers me up. But for the first time, I'm having trouble really appreciating it. I think maybe I've matured too much to be able to buy into it any more—so much of the society on Annares just seems like a simple-minded feminist socialist utopia that it just rings hollow. I can't sufficiently suspend disbelief any more.

There are still pockets, here and there, of a kind of transcendental Zen bliss that I really enjoy (Shevek and Shevet, Shevek and Gimli), but overall, I can't get past the feeling that Annares is a thinly-disguised version of LeGuinn's own naively idealized society, a society that has, and depends on having, miraculously erased certain fundamentals of human nature.

Posted at 22:49 | /books | (leave a comment) | permalink


A classic is something that everyone wants to have read and nobody wants to read. -- Mark Twain, "The Disappearance of Literature"