Saturday, January 21, 2012

Out and Back In

The fourth story in Orsinian Tales is Conversations at Night. This story is marked up and underlined more than any other in the book. Le Guin introduces us to two characters who are not supposed to love each other. They are in a poor country; they do not have options in general. They are the poor working class of the city without privileges available to those in the upper part of town. Beyond the common hardships, the man has been blinded by an accident in the mine. Somehow, they begin to love each other, then they begin to realize it, then they decide to overcome.

The characters go on a walk early in the story. They walk to the better part of town, to the nice buildings, to the parks. They talk, they enjoy each other, then they return. Le Guin writes,
“They went back down the wide, calm streets, back into their world. There the streets were noisy and jammed with people coming home from the mills”

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Past the Guards

I wrote last about an Ursula Le Guin book, Orsinian Tales. I’d like to elaborate on what made the stories in that book meaningful to me and, hopefully, open it up for others to relate.

The first story in the book is called The Fountains. Le Guin introduces us to a day in the life of a scientist from a politically oppressed country. He is in France for a summit or conference or some such thing, but he is accompanied by “students” or “bodyguards” whose hidden purpose is to ensure that he does not stray from the approved purpose of his trip. The character, Adam, is enraptured by the sights of the city, the gardens, and the fountains. He is moved by the beauty around him and he unintentionally leaves the company of the bodyguards who are with him.

I love how Le Guin describes it, she says “it was at this moment, though he was unaware of it, that he defected.”
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