14+ quotes from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin

Quotes from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories

Ursula K. Le Guin ·  362 pages

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“I never knew anybody . . . who found life simple. I think a life or a time looks simple when you leave out the details.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“In war everybody is a prisoner.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“I think there is no way to write about being alone. To write is to tell something to somebody to communicate to others. . . . Solitude is noncommunication, the absence of others, the presence of a self sufficient to itself.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“In general she had found that the main drawback in being a man was that conversations were less interesting. ”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“I go on writing in both respectable and despised genres because I respect them all, rejoice in their differences, and reject only the prejudice and ignorance that dismisses any book, unread, as not worth reading." -- "On Despising Genres," essay”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“she had never known who she was at all, except sometimes for a moment in meditation, when her I am became It is, and she breathed the stars”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“Nothing in the world has tentacles or fins or paws or claws. Nothing in the world soars. Nothing swims. Nothing purrs, barks, growls, roars, chitters, trills, or cries repeatedly two notes, a descending fourth, for three months of the year. There are no months of the year. There is no moon. There is no year.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“My advice to young writers is, if you can’t marry money, at least don’t marry envy.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“Le Guin’s Rule: One person cannot do two fulltime jobs, but two persons can do three fulltime jobs — if they honestly share the work.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“What is it like to return from the dead? Not easy. Not for the one who returns, nor for his people. The place he occupied in their world has closed up, ceased to be, filled with accumulated change, habit, the doings and needs of others. He has been replaced. To return from the dead is to be a ghost: a person for whom there is no room.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“If you write science fiction you can spell things the way you like, sometimes.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“The conduct of a new sedoretu is to some extent, and wisely, prescribed by custom and sanctioned by religion. The first night after the ceremony of marriage belongs to the Morning and Evening couples; the second night to the Day and Night couples. Thereafter the four spouses may join as and when they please, but always and only by invitation given and accepted, and the arrangements are to be known to all four. Four souls and bodies and all the years of their four lives to come are in the balance in each of those decisions and invitations; passion, negative and positive, must find its channels, and trust must be established, lest the whole structure fail to found itself solidly, or destroy itself in selfishness and jealousy and grief.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“We shape each other to be human.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


“But I don’t know what my side is, he thought, as he went back to his chair by the window. The Liberation, of course, yes, but what is the Liberation? Not an ideal, the freedom of the enslaved. Not now. Never again. Since the Uprising, the Liberation is an army, a political body, a great number of people and leaders and would-be leaders, ambitions and greed clogging hopes and strength, a clumsy amateur semi-government lurching from violence to compromise, ever more complicated, never again to know the beautiful simplicity of the ideal, the pure idea of liberty. And”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, quote from The Birthday of the World and Other Stories


About the author

Ursula K. Le Guin
Born place: in Berkeley, California, The United States
Born date October 21, 1929
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