The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness is likely to remain my favorite Ursula K. Le Guin novel. It is a great example of the saying that fiction reveals truths reality obscures.

I will probably try writing about it again at a later date. For now, I want to write about just one thing: the challenge of understanding another person. To see the world the way another person does, in terms of knowing what predictions they make about the future, is to know the mechanics of the world, as understood by that person. It does not tell you what it feels like to be that person, faced with that understanding. And to be able to list the person’s preferences and goals may mean you can predict how that person will behave. But can you make the person feel understood?

Separately, because I want to remember it, here’s a great quote from the book:

“A man who doesn’t detest a bad government is a fool. And if there were such a thing as a good government on earth, it would be a great joy to serve it.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s