Wonderful unheroic postscript to the series, the view from age and infirmity and powerlessness of the breakdown of a society built on acquiring and wielding power. From LeGuin's afterword, "the anger of an underdog at social injustice. ... [transcending to] no longer identifying freedom with power, with separating being free from being in control."
Slow reader. Computer music, sci-fi & critical theory.
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You’ll need to pay attention to your emotions and work backward. Notice shifts in your emotions, like a dramatic surge in self-doubt. Then ask yourself what has happened recently that might’ve triggered that emotional shift, and then hunt for thinking errors.
“A king has servants, soldiers, messengers, lieutenants. He governs through his servants. Where are the servants of this-Anti-King?” “In our minds, lad. In our minds. The traitor, the self; the self that cries I want to live; let the world burn so long as I can live! The little traitor soul in us, in the dark, like the worm in the apple. He talks to all of us. But only some understand him. The wizards and the sorcerers. The singers; the makers. And the heroes, the ones who seek to be themselves. To be one’s self is a rare thing and a great one. To be one’s self forever: is that not better still?”
...when we crave power over life -endless wealth, unassailable safety, immortality- then desire for life becomes greed. And if knowledge allies itself to that greed, then comes evil. Then the balance of the world is swayed, and ruin weighs heavy in the scale.