The Left Hand of Darkness review ä 3

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A groundbreaking work of science fiction The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter an alien world whose inhabitants can choose and change their gender His goa. I've become rather bitter with sci fi over the years as it used to be my favorite genre But you can only read so many space operas and pretentious near futures before it gets to you a littleAnd then you decide to give an author a go because of some weird research string you were on and it rekindles your love of why you started reading it in the first place LeGuin approaches sci fi as it should be; a thought experiment Instead of spending pages upon pages describing the minutiae of every aspect of the future she integrates snippets of mythology politics and does it in a way that you don't feel is droning on There are parts that aren't very action oriented at all and yet they don't drag I have no idea how she does it and am now rather enad with this authorAs for the book itself it approaches than the simple issue of gender; it's almost zen like with an exploration of a duality in a whole And the main character was the type a cranky sap like me could really relate to Best book I've read in a long while

review The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of DarknessL is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he e. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin has a voyeuristic uality as if a description to a studious observation I could not help thinking that I was reading a National Geographic article about a reporter visiting Winter or Gethen as its inhabitants know it Many readers cannot help but comment upon the Gethenians physiological androgyny and this is certainly a central theme of the story but there is so much to fascinate the reader Le Guin has demonstrated again how she can create a science fiction fantasy novel that is both entertaining and enlightening using the fantasy as a vehicle to explore social and psychological themes and to state observations about our culture as metaphor Ray Bradbury noted that to distinguish between science fiction and fantasy fantasy is the larger genre a mere impressionistic lens through which we can better view our world Likewise Philip K Dick Le Guin’s high school mate though they were not then known to each other uses his abstractions not as a Kafka esue absurdist portrait but rather as shifting hyperbole to better highlight and caricaturize the real world In this sense Le Guin uses TLHOD to speak to us just under the surface about a great many subjects sexuality social s violence politics psychology religion and anthropology The final scenes where the two journey across a vast wasteland of ice took this experience for the reader to another level A thoroughly excellent book

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The Left Hand of Darkness review ä 3 Ç A groundbreaking work of science fiction The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter an alien world whose inhabitants can choose and change their gender His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization But to do so he must bridge the gulfNcountersEmbracing the aspects of psychology society and human emotion on an alien world The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction. “Light is the left hand of darknessand darkness the right hand of lightTwo are one life and death lyingtogether like lovers in kemmerlike hands joined togetherlike the end and the way” This was written in the sixties though it feels like it was written yesterday Ursula K Le Guin creates a vivid culture of ambisexual humanoids that come with a detailed history and culture And it is truly fascinating to read about because such discussions and representations of gender and sex are strikingly relevant to modern societyGenly Ai is a human envoy sent to the planet Gethen to persuade the natives to join an interplanetary trade alliance Such a thing would benefit all involved as all cultures would expand intellectually and culturally It’s about a shared exchange about learning from one another in order to become better and developed The Gethenians as a people are gender neutral; they display no maleness or femaleness unless they go into kemmer which is their biological mating cycle Whatever sex they display is entirely dependent on who they are partnering with at the time A pervert is what Genly Ai comes across as To the alien eyes of the Gethenians he looks like he’s in a permanent state of sexual arousal and they are totally confused and offended by it They don’t trust him and he must rely heavily on his diplomatic skills to ensure them of his genuine nature Language barriers and misunderstandings cause several problems resulting in his imprisonment and near death The point is the novel highlights the need for effective communication and discourse for opposite cultures and political systems to reach an agreement rather than branding the other a villain simply because they do not understand it in its differentness We need to learn from the other However for all the intellect the writing displayed the plot was terribly slow for the first half Very little happened by way of action and dilemma The progress that the book displays is a shifting of opinion a development of perspective as the two protagonists learn about each other’s culture and see their counterpoint as less alien they begin to see the humanity in the other And that’s kind of important because it transcends ideas of gender and sex race and culture looking only at what it means to be human and alive Labels don’t matter only the person matters “And I saw then again and for good what I had always been afraid to see and had pretended not to see in him that he was a woman as well as a man Any need to explain the sources of that fear vanished with the fear; what I was left with was at last acceptance of him as he was”So this is a book that will appeal only to a certain type of reader because it is uite difficult to read Although it is clearly science fiction it breaks genre boundaries with its lack of standard tropes instead choosing to uestion existence itself It’s not a story designed to sweep you away but it is a story that will make you think There’s certainly a lot of wisdom hereYou can connect with me on social media via My Linktree