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The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
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The Telling (2000)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hainish Cycle (8), Hainish Cycle, Chronological (8)

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1,581377,038 (3.8)57

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» See also 57 mentions

English (34)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
I probably shouldn't have tried to read this before bed during a particularly exhausting time of the year, since I'm sure I missed some of the nuance, but this is still a lovely read in Le Guin's Hainish Cycle. ( )
  JBD1 | Jun 15, 2019 |
I like the soft edges to her more recent science fiction stories. Sutty is a scholar from Terra who like most of the Ekumen, has left everyone and everything behind in search of knowledge. She finds herself on a planet that has destroyed much of it, encouraged by earlier contact with Terrans, mirroring the purgings that Sutty had survived on Earth. She travels into the boondocks to find the remnants. It's a small and quiet story that is both sad and sweet. (December 31, 2004) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
UKL does Tibet. A good book, but the author packs too much into it.
  sonofcarc | Oct 16, 2018 |
This is a new Hainish novel, about a young Observer for the Ekumen on her first assignment. Sutty grew up on an Earth dominated by a rigid, repressive religious authority; Aka, the world she is assigned to, is controlled by an extremely rationalistic government, dedicated to advancing as rapidly as possible to catch up with the other Ekumen worlds, and eliminating any remaining vestiges of "primitive" thinking. Sutty's not the only one who has to reexamine all her assumptions; she's just one of the first to realize it. This isn't as good as The Dispossessed, or The Left Hand of Darkness, but it is a good, satisfying story.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
4.5-5... I think that last paragraph wrapping up everything nicely may have pushed it into 5 territory for me. But we will see when I get around to writing the review... ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zackman, GabraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The day I was born I made my first mistake,

and by that path
have I sought wisdom ever since.

The Mahabharata
Dedication
First words
When Sutty went back to Earth in the daytime, it was always to the village. At night, it was the Pale.
Quotations
These people are not picturesque relics of a time gone by. They are not harmless. They are vicious. They are the dregs of a deadly poison--the drug that stupefied my people for ten thousand years.
On Aka, god is a word without referent. No capital letters. No creator, only creation. No eternal father to reward and punish, justify injustice, ordain cruelty, offer salvation. Eternity is not an endpoint but a continuity. Primal division of being into material and spiritual only as two-as-one, or one in two aspects. No hierarchy of Nature and Supernatural. No binary Dark/Light, Evil/Good, or Body/Soul. No afterlife, no rebirth, no immortal disembodied or reincarnated soul. No heavens, no hells.
The people she had lived with this year honored self-restraint but did not admire self-deprivation. They had no strenuous notions of fasting, and saw no virtue whatever in discomfort, hunger, poverty.
Belief is the wound that knowledge heals.
Animals have no language. They have their nature...But we're animals with no nature...We have to talk about how to go and what to do, think about it, study it, learn it. Eh? We're born to be reasonable, so we're born ignorant. You see? If nobody teaches us the words, the thoughts, we stay ignorant... The rest of the world knows its business. Knows the One and the Myriad, the Tree and the Leaves. But all we know is how to learn. How to study, how to listen, how to talk, how to tell. If we don't tell the world, we don't know the world. We're lost in it, we die. But we have to tell it right, tell it truly. Eh? (pp 134-5)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0151005672, Hardcover)

Earthling Sutty has been living a solitary, well-protected life in Dovza City on the planet Aka as an official Observer for the interstellar Ekumen. Insisting on all citizens being pure "producer-consumers," the tightly controlled capitalist government of Aka--the Corporation--is systematically destroying all vestiges of the ancient ways: "The Time of Cleansing" is the chilling term used to describe this era. Books are burned, the old language and calligraphy are outlawed, and those caught trying to keep any part of the past alive are punished and then reeducated. Frustrated in her attempts to study the linguistics and literature of Aka's cultural past, Sutty is sent upriver to the backwoods town of Okzat-Ozkat. Here she is slowly charmed by the old-world mountain people, whose still waters, she gradually realizes, run very deep. But whether their ways constitute a religion, ancient traditions, philosophy, or passive, political resistance, Sutty is not sure. Delving ever deeper into her hosts' culture, Sutty finds herself on a parallel spiritual quest, as well.

With quiet linguistic humor (Dovza citizens are passionate about their hot bitter beverage, akakafi--the ubiquitous Corporation brand is called Starbrew), dark references to the dangers of restricted cultural, political, and social freedom, and beautifully visualized worlds, award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin pens her latest in the Hainish cycle, which includes The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness. Le Guin explores her characters and societies with such care, such thoughtfulness, her novels call out for slow, deep attention. --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:14 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Earthling Sutty has been living a solitary, well-protected life in Dovza City on the planet Aka as an official Observer for the interstellar Ekumen. Insisting on all citizens being pure "producer-consumers," the tightly controlled capitalist government of Aka--the Corporation--is systematically destroying all vestiges of the ancient ways: "The Time of Cleansing" is the chilling term used to describe this era. Books are burned, the old language and calligraphy are outlawed, and those caught trying to keep any part of the past alive are punished and then reeducated. Frustrated in her attempts to study the linguistics and literature of Aka's cultural past, Sutty is sent upriver to the backwoods town of Okzat-Ozkat. Here she is slowly charmed by the old-world mountain people, whose still waters, she gradually realizes, run very deep. But whether their ways constitute a religion, ancient traditions, philosophy, or passive, political resistance, Sutty is not sure. Delving ever deeper into her hosts' culture, Sutty finds herself on a parallel spiritual quest, as well.… (more)

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