Ursula K Le Guin Quotes & Wallpapers

Ursula K Le Guin
Total Quotes: 620


The greatest religious problem today is how to be both a mystic and a militant; in other words how to combine the search for an expansion of inner awareness with effective social action, and how to feel one's true identity in both. Ursula K Le Guin

What you select from, in order to tell your story, is nothing less than everything. What you build up your world from, your local, intelligible rational, coherent world, is nothing less than everything. . . . . All human knowledge is local. Every life, each human life is local, is arbitrary, the infinitesimal momentary glitter of a reflection. Ursula K Le Guin

It's a rare gift, to know where you need to be, before you've been to all the places you don't need to be. Ursula K Le Guin

We need writers who know the difference between the production of a commodity and the practice of an art. Ursula K Le Guin

When people say, Did you always want to be a writer?, I have to say no! I always WAS a writer. Ursula K Le Guin

We like to think we live in daylight, but half the world is always dark, and fantasy, like poetry, speaks the language of the night. Ursula K Le Guin

To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness. Ursula K Le Guin

The Earth is beautiful, and bright, and kindly, but that is not all. The Earth is also terrible, and dark, and cruel. Ursula K Le Guin

there are times when you have to speak because silence is betrayal. Ursula K Le Guin

Prose writers are interested mostly in life and commas. Ursula K Le Guin

Living, being in the world, was a much greater and stranger thing than she had ever dreamed. Ursula K Le Guin

He knew now, and the knowledge was hard, that his task had never been to undo what he had done, but to finish what he had begun. Ursula K Le Guin

To be oneself is a rare thing, and a great one. Ursula K Le Guin

The wise needn't ask, the fool asks in vain. Ursula K Le Guin

I don't want to be a propagandist, no matter how good the cause. I want to tell stories. It's just that the stories have to square with my consciousness as a woman and my conscience as a human being. Ursula K Le Guin

The great authors share their souls with us - literally. Ursula K Le Guin

Truth is a matter of the imagination. The soundest fact may fail or prevail in the style of its telling: like that singular organic jewel of our seas, which grows brighter as one woman wears it and, worn by another, dulls and goes to dust. Ursula K Le Guin

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

A machine is more blameless, more sinless even than any animal. It has no intentions whatsoever but our own. Ursula K Le Guin

A man who saw a miracle would reject his eyes' witness, if those with him saw nothing. Ursula K Le Guin

Suffering is dysfunctional, except as a bodily warning against danger. Psychologically and socially it's merely destructive. Ursula K Le Guin

Science fiction is not prescriptive; it is descriptive. Ursula K Le Guin

Who knows a man's name, holds that man's life in his keeping. Thus to Ged, who had lost faith in himself, Vetch had given him that gift that only a friend can give, the proof of unshaken, unshakeable trust. Ursula K Le Guin

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

If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic. Ursula K Le Guin

I don't write tracts, I write novels. I'm not a preacher, I'm a fiction writer. Ursula K Le Guin

A writer either speaks to adults and bores kids, or speaks to kids and upsets adults. Ursula K Le Guin

The sunlights differ, but there is only one darkness. Ursula K Le Guin

First sentences are doors to worlds. Ursula K Le Guin

A forest ecology is a delicate one. If the forest perishes, its fauna may go with it. The Athshean word for world is also the word for forest. Ursula K Le Guin

Would you really like to live in a society where you have no responsibility and no freedom, no choice, only the false option of obedience to the law, or disobedience followed by punishment? Would you really want to go live in a prison? Ursula K Le Guin

Compare the torrent and the glacier. Both get where they are going. Ursula K Le Guin

It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end. Ursula K Le Guin

The one thing a writer has to have is a pencil and some paper. That's enough, so long as she knows that she and she alone is in charge of that pencil, and responsible, she and she alone, for what it writes on that paper. Ursula K Le Guin

All makers must leave room for acts of the spirit. Ursula K Le Guin

O foolish writer. Now moves. Even in storytime, dreamtime, once-upon-a-time, now isn't then. Ursula K Le Guin

At this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence. Ursula K Le Guin

In that moment Ged understood the singing of the bird, and the language of the water falling in the basin of the fountain, and the shape of the clouds, and the beginning and end of the wind that stirred the leaves; it seemed to him that he himself was a word spoken by the sunlight. Ursula K Le Guin

Other people's stories may become part of your own, the foundation of it, the ground it goes on. Ursula K Le Guin

Writers are egotists. All artists are. They can't be altruists and get their work done. And writers love to whine about the Solitude of the Author's Life, and lock themselves into cork-lined rooms or droop around in bars in order to whine better. But although most writing is done in solitude, I believe that it is done, like all the arts, for an audience. That is to say, with an audience. All the arts are performance arts, only some of them are sneakier about it than others. Ursula K Le Guin

The individual cannot bargain with the State. The State recognizes no coinage but power: and it issues the coins itself. Ursula K Le Guin

My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and fought and gobbled until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt. We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed the world first. Ursula K Le Guin

What is love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That's a good thing, but one musn't make a virtue of it, or a profession...Insofar as I love life, I love [my country], but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope. Ursula K Le Guin

I am no more lonely than the loon on the pond that laughs so loud. Ursula K Le Guin

Hate gets going, it goes round, it gets older and tighter and older and tighter, until it holds a person inside it like a fist holds a stick. Ursula K Le Guin

At the pit's bottom is no anger. Ursula K Le Guin

Love is the true condition of human life. Ursula K Le Guin

What's needed in this case is conscious and serious practice in hearing, and using, and being used by, other people's voices. Ursula K Le Guin

Grieving, like being blind, is a strange business; you have to learn how to do it. We seek company in mourning, but after the early bursts of tears, after the praises have been spoken, and the good days remembered, and the lament cried, and the grave closed, there is no company in grief. It is a burden borne alone. Ursula K Le Guin

I have decided that the trouble with print is, it never changes its mind. Ursula K Le Guin

The pornography of violence of course far exceeds, in volume and general acceptance, sexual pornography, in this Puritan land of ours. Ursula K Le Guin

If you deny any affinity with another person or kind of person, if you declare it to be wholly different from yourself Ursula K Le Guin

The artist deals with what cannot be said in words. Ursula K Le Guin

What the brain does by itself is infinitely more fascinating and complex than any response it can make to chemical stimulation. Ursula K Le Guin

The reason literacy is important is that literature is the operating instructions. The best manual we have. The most useful guide to the country we're visiting, life. Ursula K Le Guin

If you want to know all about the sea ... and ask the sea itself, what does it say? Grumble grumble swish swish. It is too busy being itself to know anything about itself. Ursula K Le Guin

I have no control over my writing. I have lots of good intentions, but no control. There's a story that wants to be told. Ursula K Le Guin

She'll die.' 'Aye. That's a consequence of being alive. Ursula K Le Guin

But need alone is not enough to set power free: there must be knowledge. Ursula K Le Guin

Maybe when you meet the people you are supposed to meet you know it, without knowing it. Ursula K Le Guin

As a writer, you are free. Ursula K Le Guin

You must come to terms with your wholeself. the wholeness which exceeds all our virtue and all our vice. Ursula K Le Guin

And I know that all I understand about living is having your work to do, and being able to do it. That's the pleasure, and the glory, and all. And if you can't do the work, or it's taken from you, then what's any good? You have to have something.... Ursula K Le Guin

He always asked, why thus? why this way, not another way? I answered: Because in what we do daily and in the way we do it, we enact the gods. He said: Then the gods are only what we do. I said: In what we do rightly, the gods are. Ursula K Le Guin

What goes too long unchanged destroys itself. Ursula K Le Guin

One man may as easily destroy, as govern: be King or Anti-King. Ursula K Le Guin

This is. And thou art. There is no safety. There is no end. The word must be heard in silence. There must be darkness to see the stars. The dance is always danced above the hollow place, above the terrible abyss. Ursula K Le Guin

When I'm writing I don't dream much; it's like the dreaming gets used in the writing. Ursula K Le Guin

...If at moments the facts seem to alter with an altered voice, why then you can choose the fact you like best; yet none of them are false, and it is all one story. Ursula K Le Guin

Have you never thought how danger must surround power as shadow does light? Ursula K Le Guin



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