Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ursula Major

Ursula K. LeGuin, not a bear or a constellation (yet).

I didn't realize I had already read A Wizard of Earthsea as a kid when I read it again last month. I knew right away, but I finished the book after realizing I knew the end but had forgotten the journey there.

I'm reading Tales From Earthsea now. I think this movie and book amnesia I have isn't necessarily a bad thing - it makes it more exciting to reread books and rewatch movies. There are so damn many good books out there. I don't want to waste time rereading, but it's not really wasting time if I enjoy it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I also read Tales from Earthsea when I was younger. I don't remember reading the forward though. It might mean something different to me now than then, anyway.

An excerpt:

"We cherish the old stories for their changelessness. Arthur dreams eternally in Avalon. Bilbo can go "there and back again," and "there" is always the beloved familiar Shire. Don Quixote sets out forever to kill a windmill... So people turn to the realms of fantasy for stability, ancient truths, immutable simplicities.

And the mills of capitalism provide them. Supply meets demand. Fantasy becomes a commodity, an industry.

Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivializes. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their action to violence, their actors to dolls, and their truth-telling to sentimental platitude. Heroes brandish their swords, lasers, wands, as mechanically as combine harvesters, reaping profits. Profoundly disturbing moral choices are sanitized, made cute, made safe. The passionately conceived ideas of the great story-tellers are copied, stereotyped, reduced to toys, molded in bright-colored plastic, advertised, sold, broken, junked, irreplaceable, interchangeable."

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...