The Dispossessed

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One of the very best must-read novels of all time - with a new introduction by Roddy Doyle 'There was a wall. It did not look important - even a child could climb it. But the idea was real. Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on...' Shevek is brilliant scientist who is attempting to find a new theory of time - but there are those who are jealous of his work, and will do anything to block him. So he leaves his homeland, hoping to find ...

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Ellyb

Mar 14, 2008

Political /Academic /Personal Mash-up

Ursula K Le Guin believes in the intelligence of her readers. As such, I can always count on a challenge from her work. Here, she juxtaposes a "utopian" moon against the traditional classist planet its population left behind. Because humans will seek power even within a supposedly hierarchy-less society, the scientific hegemony has effectively gagged Shevek, our protagonist. In order to spread his ideas to where they will actually be utilized, he risks his life in traveling back to the misogynist, corrupt planet from whence his ancestors fled, breaking a generations-long embargo of silence. This is a deep exploration of political idealism, of academic censorship, and of the child-like concept of "the grass is greener on the other side." Le Guin provides no pat conclusions, allowing the reader to make his or her own. Or not, as the case may be. Some situations defy conclusions.

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