La Mano Izquierda de La Oscuridad

Paperback

Published March 10, 2000 by Minotauro.

ISBN:
978-84-450-7024-6
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4 stars (116 reviews)

[Comment by Kim Stanley Robinson, on The Guardian's website][1]: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin (1969)

One of my favorite novels is The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K Le Guin. For more than 40 years I've been recommending this book to people who want to try science fiction for the first time, and it still serves very well for that. One of the things I like about it is how clearly it demonstrates that science fiction can have not only the usual virtues and pleasures of the novel, but also the startling and transformative power of the thought experiment.

In this case, the thought experiment is quickly revealed: "The king was pregnant," the book tells us early on, and after that we learn more and more about this planet named Winter, stuck in an ice age, where the humans are most of the time …

25 editions

Sci-fi classic!

5 stars

A fascinating sci-fi classic, occasionally a bit dated in our main character's reactions to a culture without gender or sex, his need to see gender where there is none is sometimes a little overstated- but even that is a fascinating read. Overall a brilliant book, touching on politics, beliefs, culture, friendships and vast cold, frozen landscapes, familiar and alien at the same time.

La main gauche de la nuit

4 stars

J'ai pris grand plaisir à découvrir l'univers d'Ursula K. Le Guin. Comme le roman s'inscrit dans un cycle de plusieurs romans et nouvelles, je pense que je m'essaierai à parcourir d'autres planètes de l'Ekumen. On plonge assez facilement dans ce monde. Je craignais un peu de m'y perdre mais le talent littéraire de l'autrice rend la visite accessible, même à celles et ceux, qui comme moi, n'ont pas l'habitude de ce genre littéraire. Je n'ajouterai rien concernant l'un des sujets les plus traités du roman — une façon très originale d'aborder la notion de genre — vous trouverez moult articles sur le sujet (cf. la postface de Stéphanie Nicot).

reviewed The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (Hainish Cycle, #4)

Good ideas, bad story

2 stars

Content warning It contains spoilers

Review of 'The Left Hand of Darkness' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

A beautifully written, multi layered book full of quotable lines, great ideas and deep characters.

It starts out as a story of court intrigue, misunderstanding and mistrust and ends up in high adventure, respect and friendship. On the way it includes philosophy, politics (a critique of populist nationalism which is as relevant as ever) and its own mythology.

The journey across the ice is beautifully described and totally believable. I love the way that Le Guinn throws in proverbs and aphorisms which are perfect for the alien culture she is describing.

Review of 'The Left Hand of Darkness' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is a classic and one of LeGuin's most celebrated books for a reason. Not only is it a fantastic science fiction book with one of the most meticulously thought out cultures I've read, full of folklore and traditions and sayings and other bits of flavor that make it feel like a living breathing place, but I couldn't imagine anyone better than LeGuin to write about the process of looking past your prejudices to move from ignorance to understanding and the messy process of accepting a culture different from yours that manages to be brutal and miserable but undeniably sweet and heartfelt at the same time. I loved The Dispossessed but I suspect once the dust settles it might be The Left Hand of Darkness the one to stand at the top of her scifi output for me.

Un libro adelantado a su tiempo, un titán de la ciencia ficción

5 stars

Los conceptos tratados en esta novela están increíblemente adelantados a su tiempo. Le Guin tiene la destreza narrativa de sumergirnos de lleno en el mundo de la novela, y empatizar (y un poco odiar) al personaje principal a través de quien estamos conociendo este planeta de hielo. Un clásico en todo el sentido de la palabra, pero uno que se ha mantenido fresco y relevante desde 1969.

Review of 'The Left Hand of Darkness' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Often discussed as "The book with the genderless aliens" it is obviously a lot more than that. It does of course touch on the gender thing, as the people of Gethen (Eternally winter planet) have no gender and only enter Kemmer occasionally when they become sexually active and can be temporarily male or female.
It is more a political and anthropological reflection about duality and unity. A theme that maybe starts on the sexes thing but goes on to war and peace, nationalism and the Ekumen (A intergalactic union of planets)
Essential reading though, and awesome world building!

Review of 'The Left Hand of Darkness' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Die erste Hälfte war Science Fiction von der quälendsten Sorte: Es war am Tag Gnarth des Monats Fnorgh auf dem Planeten Hemmheremm, Xarf fiel vom Himmel, als die Anhänger des Syrph dem Gorthonen von Shnorgh, siebter Flynpp aus dem Argan Sneckereck, bei der Klumph-Zeremonie zusahen, im Hintergrund werden allerdings bereits Intrigen im Kalten Krieg gegen das Land Blorgh gesponnen. Ich habe mehrmals mittellaut "boooring" gerufen, aber wegen vieler positiver Rezensionen hier drin und des guten Rufs der Autorin darauf vertraut, dass es irgendwann besser werden würde. Wurde es auch, in der zweiten Hälfte bestand das Buch nicht mehr nur aus Notizen zum worldbuilding, sondern hatte eine Handlung. Die war aber auch nicht besonders interessant (obwohl es ums Überleben in Eis und Schnee geht, und das interessiert mich eigentlich immer; ich weiß gar nicht, wie es möglich ist, davon so lahm zu erzählen). Die Überlegungen zu Sexualität und Gender bei den …

Review of 'The Left Hand of Darkness' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Genly Ai is an emissary for the Ekumen on Winter, hopeful to open Winter to trade between worlds. However, Ai has a difficulty navigating a society and a world where people are ambisexual, and don't fit into particular gender roles.

Ai makes disparaging remarks throughout the novel about the residents of Winter, associating negative values to what he ascribes to female or womanly, while praising masculine values. His misogyny runs through the entire novel, insidious, hidden to all but him.

I suspect Le Guin's intent is to hold a mirror to ourselves, and let us see how we react (or don't!) to our behaviors reflected through Ai's actions.

I don't know that Ai fully recognizes his failures or weaknesses. I suspect we're intended to see and grow from them, not Ai.

Review of 'La Mano Izquierda de La Oscuridad' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Una reflexión sobre las relaciones humanas, el género, el poder, el nacionalismo, la guerra y la política dentro de un marco de ciencia ficción, en un planeta inhóspito y frío, que invita al recogimiento. Los mensajes que deja el libro son como el frío de Invierno, se filtran hasta los huesos. Una vez lo empecé no pude parar. Cualquiera diría que es de 1969, con cuestionamientos y reflexiones muy actuales.

Review of 'The Left Hand of Darkness' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

It feels weird to give an out-of-five star rating, the same way I'd rate a USB cable I bought online, to a book like this.

It's like the worst of asking lay people whether they like Beethoven's Fifth Symphony or Einstein's paper on the photoelectric effect. Yes, of course, but that's almost beside the point now, and focusing on it distracts from the true importance.

This is an incredible story, from the nature of the telling, to the glimpses given of a vast science fiction universe that say a lot in few words in Le Guin's classic manner, to its depiction of gender that, as I understand it, feels less shocking now in part due to the impact it had when it first came out. My only regret for this book is that it took me so long to finally start to read it. It's even a fast and easy …

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