Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.

Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.

Ursula K. Le Guin
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Excerpt from Ursula K Le Guin's speech at National Book AwardsHard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

Ursula K. Le Guin
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Through him speaks a shrewd and magnanimous people, a people who have woven together into one wisdom a profound, old, terrible, and unimaginably various experience of life. But he himself is young: impatient, inexperienced. He stands higher than we stand, seeing wider, but he is himself only the height of a man.

Ursula K. Le Guin
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A man who doesn’t detest a bad government is a fool. And if there were such a thing as a good government in earth, it would be a great joy to serve it.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
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A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.

Ursula K. Le Guin
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The imagination is truly the enemy of bigotry and dogma.

Ursula K. Le Guin
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All that grieved me - that I was half one thing and half another and nothing wholly - was the sorrow of my childhood, but the strength and use of my life after I grew up.

Ursula K. Le Guin
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The Sun Going SouthIn late sunshine I wander troubled.Restless I wander in autumn sunlight.Too many changes, partings, and deaths.Doors have closed that were always open.Trees that held the sky up are cut down.So much that I alone remember!This creek runs dry among its stones.Souls of the dead, come drink this water!Come into this side valley with me,a restless old woman, unseemly,troubled, walking on dry grass, dry stones.

Ursula K. Le Guin
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BucketI feel so dreamydreamy lazy, crazy sleepylike I want to be therein the doorway, the doorwayor the porch cornerbe sitting, be emptynotdoing not goingan old bucket left therein the porch corner is like I aman old empty bucket somebody left there.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
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They have no gods. They work magic, and think they are gods themselves. But they are not. And when they die, they (...) become dust and bone, and their ghosts whine on the wind a little while till the wind blows them away. They do not have immortal souls.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan
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This StoneHe went looking for a roadthat doesn't lead to death.He went looking for that roadand found it.It was a stone road.He walked that roadthat doesn't lead to death.He walked on it awhilebefore he stopped,having turned to stone.Now he stands there on that roadthat doesn't lead to deathnot going anywhere.He can't dance.from his eyes stones fall.The rainbow people pass himcrossing that road, long-legged, light-stepping,going from the Four Housesto the dancing in the Five Houses.They pick up his tears.This stone is a tearfrom his eye, this stonegiven me on the mountainby one who died before my birth,this stone, this stone.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
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