The Dispossessed

An Ambiguous Utopia (Hainish Cycle #6)

Paperback, 341 pages

English language

Published Aug. 11, 1999 by Gollancz.

ISBN:
9781857988826

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4 stars (56 reviews)

Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

1 edition

I suppose I have to figure out my missing old reviews

5 stars

Walls beyond walls.

Re-read 2020: Upped to 5 stars. Still a bit of a slow start and interspersed philosophical explainers, but I appreciate the complexities of this "evolving utopia" more than before, the human and social and intergenerational tensions she walks through in making the case complicated.

Review of 'The Dispossessed' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

"I come here with empty hands and the desire to unbuild walls."

LeGuin is fearless in her criticism of capitalism and patriarchy, her wordlbuilding, and her radical view of society and what it could be. This book is a breath of fresh air in allowing me to imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to live in a world built on principles of mutual aid. It's also an extremely stark and sobering comparison to the world at present, and sometimes it's hard to juggle both of those feelings at once. While I was reading a chapter where a teacher explains prisons to children who live in a world where prisons don't exist, a humanitarian aid worker in AZ faced two felony charges for giving water to two people crossing the border. It's a dark time to read utopian fiction, but it's a necessary light.

It's also a jumping …

Review of 'The Dispossessed' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Ich möchte einfach nur mein Lieblingszitat aus dem Buch posten, über die ersten Tage in einer Beziehung:

"Intimacy after long solitude, the abruptness of joy,
tried both Shevek’s stability and Takver’s. In the first
few decads he had wild swings of elation and anxiety;
she had fits of temper. Both were oversensitive and
inexperienced. The strain did not last, as they became
experts in each other. Their sexual hunger persisted as
passionate delight, their desire for communion was daily
renewed because it was daily fulfilled."

Review of 'The Dispossessed' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

J'avais lu quelque part qu'Ursula K. Le Guin avait démontré que la science-fiction ne pouvait pas seulement s'appuyer sur les sciences dites exactes mais aussi sur les sciences humaines. C'est exactement le cas dans ce superbe roman qui décrit une pseudo-utopie anarchiste où les valeurs de liberté, de collectivité, de partage et de bien commun sont mises en avant. Je parle de pseudo-utopie car comme le sous-titre du roman, An Ambiguous Utopia, l'indique, ce monde idéal ne l'est pas forcément tant que ça, et les excès du modèle prôné par les fondateurs de cette société ont aussi des effets pervers que le roman ne néglige pas.

Ce livre est à la fois un passionnant roman de science-fiction, la description d'une utopie imparfaite et de son exact contraire, et une brillante réflexion sociologique et politique. Tout ce que j'aime dans la science-fiction, tout ce qu'elle doit être à mes yeux.

Review of 'The Dispossessed' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars



Wenn The Left Hand Of Darkness das feministische Werk Ursula Le Guins ist, dann ist The Dispossessed ihr anarchistisches.

Vor etwa 200 Jahren verfasste eine Frau namens Odo auf dem Planeten Urras eine anarchistische Revolutionsschrift. Ihre Anhänger verließen Urras Heimatwelt und siedelten zu dem kargen Zwillingsplaneten Anarres über (beide Welten betrachten sich wechselseitig als ‚Mond‘).

In der Jetztzeit der Geschichte, also 200 Jahre nach Odo, leben die Odonier in konsequenter Selbstverwaltung ohne Regierung, also in einer Art real-anarchistischer Utopie. Sie ringen ihrer unwirtlichen Heimatwelt mit viel Mühe ab, was sie zum leben brauchen und pflegen ihre Vorurteile über die propertarians (von property = Besitz) auf Urras.

Shevek ist ein Physiker, der sich mit der Natur der Zeit beschäftigt. Durch ihn und die Schilderung seines Lebenswegs lernen wir die odonische Gesellschaft sehr genau kennen; von der Organisation der Arbeit, über Familie und Sexualität, bis hin zu ihren (in Teilen eigentlich ziemlich …

Review of 'The Dispossessed' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I must admit I groaned a bit when I started The Dispossessed, a book about aliens and their different social structures. I’ve read books like this and I wasn’t really in the mood for another Sci-Fi book about anarchist societies. It is a bit dry and difficult to read but I did end up finding this book really interesting. I did end up finding the most interesting parts of this book was the different societies and how no could ever be perfect. The Dispossessed is just a giant metaphor about the world we live in. It’s not an easy read but rather interesting anyway.

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Subjects

  • Life on other planets -- Fiction
  • Communal living -- Fiction
  • Physicists -- Fiction
  • Anarchism -- Fiction
  • Utopias -- Fiction

Lists