Quotes by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Love does not just sit there, like a stone; it had to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.

The preservation of life seems to be rather a slogan than a genuine goal of the anti-abortion forces; what they want is control. Control over behavior: power over women. Women in the anti-choice movement want to share in male power over women, and do so by denying their own womanhood, their own rights and responsibilities.
My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.
The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.
In so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void.
We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.
Translation is entirely mysterious. Increasingly I have felt that the art of writing is itself translating, or more like translating than it is like anything else. What is the other text, the original? I have no answer. I suppose it is the source, the deep sea where ideas swim, and one catches them in nets of words and swings them shining into the boat... where in this metaphor they die and get canned and eaten in sandwiches.
When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.
Our roots are in the dark; the earth is our country. Why did we look up for blessing -- instead of around, and down? What hope we have lies there. Not in the sky full of orbiting spy-eyes and weaponry, but in the earth we have looked down upon. Not from above, but from below. Not in the light that blinds, but in the dark that nourishes, where human beings grow human souls.
There's a good deal in common between the mind's eye and the TV screen, and though the TV set has all too often been the boobtube, it could be, it can be, the box of dreams.
The pornography of violence of course far exceeds, in volume and general acceptance, sexual pornography, in this Puritan land of ours. Exploiting the apocalypse, selling the holocaust, is a pornography. For the ultimate selling job on ultimate violence one must read those works of fiction issued by our government as manuals of civil defense, in which you learn that there's nothing to be afraid of if you've stockpiled lots of dried fruit.
The quality of the will to power is, precisely, growth. Achievement is its cancellation. To be, the will to power must increase with each fulfillment, making the fulfillment only a step to a further one. The vaster the power gained the vaster the appetite for more.
Legends of prediction are common throughout the whole Household of Man. Gods speak, spirits speak, computers speak. Oracular ambiguity or statistical probability provides loopholes, and discrepancies are expunged by Faith.
Reason is a faculty far larger than mere objective force. When either the political or the scientific discourse announces itself as the voice of reason, it is playing God, and should be spanked and stood in the corner.
The children of the revolution are always ungrateful, and the revolution must be grateful that it is so.
What the hell is nostalgia doing in a science-fiction film? With the whole universe and all the future to play in, Lucas took his marvelous toys and crawled under the fringed cloth on the parlor table, back into a nice safe hide hole, along with Flash Gordon and the Cowardly Lion and Luke Skywalker and the Flying Aces and the Hitler Jugend. If there's a message there, I don't think I want to hear it.
If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic.
The misogyny that shapes every aspect of our civilization is the institutionalized form of male fear and hatred of what they have denied and therefore cannot know, cannot share: that wild country, the being of women.
In the tale, in the telling, we are all one blood. Take the tale in your teeth, then, and bite till the blood runs, hoping it's not poison; and we will all come to the end together, and even to the beginning: living, as we do, in the middle.
Public speaking is done in the public tongue, the national or tribal language; and the language of our tribe is the men's language. Of course women learn it. We're not dumb. If you can tell Margaret Thatcher from Ronald Reagan, or Indira Gandhi from General Somoza, by anything they say, tell me how. This is a man's world, so it talks a man's language.
Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further development.
He is far too intelligent to become really cerebral.
Virginity is now a mere preamble or waiting room to be got out of as soon as possible; it is without significance. Old age is similarly a waiting room, where you go after life's over and wait for cancer or a stroke. The years before and after the menstrual years are vestigial: the only meaningful condition left to women is that of fruitfulness.
If we can get that realistic feminine morality working for us, if we can trust ourselves and so let women think and feel that an unwanted child or an oversize family is wrong -- not ethically wrong, not against the rules, but morally wrong, all wrong, wrong like a thalidomide birth, wrong like taking a wrong step that will break your neck -- if we can get feminine and human morality out from under the yoke of a dead ethic, then maybe we'll begin to get somewhere on the road that leads to survival.
Now, I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.
Primitiveness and civilization are degrees of the same thing. If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of these two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both.
The worst walls are never the ones you find in your way. The worst walls are the ones you put there—you build yourself. Those are the high ones, the thick ones, the ones with no doors in.
His soul is about the size of a toenail.
What the brain does by itself is infinitely more fascinating and complex than any response it can make to chemical stimulation.
We are not to talk about having babies, because that is not part of the experience of men and so nothing to do with reality, with civilization, and no concern of art.--A rending scream in another room.
A Woman is home caring for her children! even if she can't. Trapped in this well-built trap, A Woman blames her mother for luring her into it, while ensuring that her own daughter never gets out; she recoils from the idea of sisterhood and doesn't believe women have friends, because it probably means something unnatural, and anyhow, A Woman is afraid of women. She's a male construct, and she's afraid women will deconstruct her. She's afraid of everything, because she can't change. Thighs forever thin and shining hair and shining teeth and she's my Mom, too, all seven percent of her. And she never grows old.
To me the female principle is, or at least historically has been, basically anarchic. It values order without constraint, rule by custom not by force. It has been the male who enforces order, who constructs power structures, who makes, enforces, and breaks laws.
He had grown up in a country run by politicians who sent the pilots to man the bombers to kill the babies to make the world safe for children to grow up in.
Menopause Manor is not merely a defensive stronghold. . . . It is a house or household, fully furnished with the necessities of life. In abandoning it, women have narrowed their domain and impoverished their souls. There are things the Old Woman can do, say, and think that the Woman cannot do, say, or think. The Woman has to give up more than her menstrual periods before she can do, say, or think them. She has got to change her life.