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Ursula K. Le Guin Forum

Ursula K. Le Guin Forum


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Welcome to "prescience"
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-08-18 15:16:27 :
Link to this Comment: 6280

Welcome to this forum, open now for commentary on Ursula LeGuin's Commencement Address. A colleague at Bryn Mawr, Susan Dean, led me to this essay over a decade ago, when I began sharing the teaching of first-year McBride scholars with her. I used it for many years in my first-semester writing classes, as a way of assuring McBrides, who were coming "late" to college, that they could still learn to "master" the en-distancing "language of the fathers" w/out losing the connected/connecting sort of language spoken 'round the kitchen table--indeed, that they could learn to meld the two into something more powerful than anyone had ever (yet) heard.

Ten years later, as I wend my way towards theorizing interdisciplinarity and building bridges between the cultures of science and and those of the humanities, LeGuin's words still sound strong, prescient and inspirational to me. I am VERY pleased to have them easily available to share with new generations of students.


Possible typo?
Name: John Cowan
Date: //2003-09-17 11:04:20 :
Link to this Comment: 6508

The text here says "We went back to felling our way into ideas". Can that be right? It seems far more Leguinesque to say "telling our way"; I can't picture her with an axe. Can someone check with the printed text, or with Le Guin, please? Thanks.

(This posting is written in the mother tongue, I think.)


...as the grain of a tree resists the saw....
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2003-09-22 15:47:42 :
Link to this Comment: 6572

What a delight to find, in John Cowan, SUCH a close reader of LeGuin's text. Turns out that LeGuin's original ACTUALLY reads (and we're altering our on-line text to say),

"We went back to FEELING our way into ideas, using the whole intellect not half of it...."

There's a loss in this correction, though; John's flagging our typo of "felling our way" reminds me of Robert Scholes' wonderful essay, "The Left Hand of Difference" (in Textual Power), which uses The Left Hand of Darkness as a stepping off point to say (among other things!) that

"The world resists language as the grain of a tree resists the saw, and saws take the form they do partly because wood is what it is. We sense the presence of things through this resistance....."


Close reading
Name: John Cowan
Date: //2003-09-22 16:18:46 :
Link to this Comment: 6573

Thanks. grin

Reading a piece out loud to someone (my wife, in this case) makes for a very close reading indeed. We have read, I think, all of Le Guin's novels and story suites out loud, and many other people's as well, in our 24 years together. (Current book: Starsilk by Sydney Van Scyoc.)

It was wonderful to discover in one of UKL's essays that she and her husband do the same.


She is very good
Name: Rycard Tzu
Date: //2004-01-06 10:20:22 :
Link to this Comment: 7589

When I first read one of her books I was amazed at how well written they are. She explains in detail what is happening and that is what I love about her books.


Another small typo
Name: Julia Wise
Date: //2004-03-27 14:15:05 :
Link to this Comment: 9028

I'm pretty sure "Prince Audrey" was meant to be "Prince Andrei", whose wife dies in childbirth in War and Peace.

The more I read of her, the more amazed I am.


gather.com
Name: marty weis
Date: //2006-06-11 01:08:45 :
Link to this Comment: 19481

I've long loved Ursula's writings, and there is a thread of discussion on the Gather website regarding wise women, so I knew this address was perfectly appropriate, and posted it there for all the burgeoning wise people to enjoy, take comfort, be inspired, energized, etc., as I have.
I m grateful to serendip for providing the text. I have given the book, "Dancing At the Edge of the World" to several of my university professors who, surprisingly, hadn't read it.
Maybe now we can outgrow "control issues" and move on to enduring community.
(pardon me, but typos are insignificant next to the import of her words. Get over it, pedants.This is precisely what she's talking about. typo is the Father Tongue, exclusive, defining, and controlling. You point out the obvious : Andrei, not Audrey, but somehow can't fathom the meaning of it all. Andrew Jackson had little respect for anyone who could only think of one way to spell a word!) (trans.: humor)
marty weiss
mexico, mo
email:
mswhrw@sbcglobal.net


Forum Archived
Name: Webmaster
Date: //2006-11-28 14:36:26 :
Link to this Comment: 21209

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