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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Ursula Le Guin.

Ever since this crowgirl encountered the novels The Lathe of Heaven and The Dispossessed, Le Guin has been one of our favorite authors. Even when she goes a bit astray (as we'd argue she did with Always Coming Home, for example), she gives a reader more to think about in a single book than many writers provide in an entire career. Le Guin recently did an online chat with readers of the UK Guardian. The newspaper has posted an edited transcript of the conversation here .

Q: Do you have a favourite TV programme?

UKL: I used to watch Star Trek, until they went off the rails with Voyager, and when we were in England about two centuries ago we got hooked on Dr Who - the guy with the long scarf and the great nose, not the one after him who looked like he needed some vitamins. There isn't much to watch on American TV now unless you are into violence and/or canned laughter. Did you know that most of the laugh tracks they use are so old that the people you hear laughing at the sitcom are mostly dead? It seems appropriate. The only program I watch weekly is Bill Moyers, which probably means nothing to you in England. He is a terrific interviewer and political commentator.

Q: It has sometimes been said that your book The Dispossessed manifested the libertarian/communal ethos of the counter-culture. (Perhaps Always Coming Home did too?)

UKL: I'd put it this way: Dispossessed is an Anarchist utopian novel. Its ideas come from the Pacifist Anarchist tradition - Kropotkin etc. So did some of the ideas of the so-called counterculture of the sixties and seventies.

Q: How do you view that countercultural movement these days, as the boomers grow old (and wise?). With hindsight - what was its upside, and downside? Do you still share that brand of idealism (if you ever did), or have your hopes and visions morphed into a different shape?

UKL: I liked the generosity and the sense of responsibility towards the future that were strong in the sixties and seventies. They are strong again, now, among people in the Green and anti-corporation movements, the anti-war and anti-Bush movements. A lot of people don't get wise as they get old, they just get old.


Our favorite interaction was this one, though:

Q: Perhaps you feel a bit out of step with your contemporaries?

UKL: Why should a woman of 74 want to be "in step with" anybody? Am I in an army, or something?


Via Bookslut.

| | Posted by Magpie at 6:55 PM | Get permalink




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