Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is the first feature documentary film about Ursula K. Le Guin, a singular writer who defiantly held her ground on the frontier of American letters until the sheer excellence of her work, at long last, forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature.
Viewers will accompany Le Guin on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way. To tell this story, the film reaches into the past as well as the future – to a childhood steeped in the myths and stories of disappeared Native peoples she heard as the daughter of prominent 19th century anthropologist Alfred Kroeber.
Le Guin’s story allows audiences to reflect on science fiction’s unique role in American culture, as a conduit for our utopian dreams, apocalyptic fears, and tempestuous romance with technology. Le Guin, by elevating science fiction from mind candy to serious speculation, has given permission to younger mainstream writers like Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, and Jonathan Lethem to explore fantastic elements in their work.
More than ever, we need to perform the kinds of thought experiments that Le Guin pioneered, to ask how we might behave as our technologies transform us beyond the wildest dreams of our grandparents. Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin explores what science fiction means to us now, and shares the story of the unassuming mother of three who showed us the limitless power of the imagination.
Thank you Neil, and to the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks from the heart. My family, my agent, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as mine, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice at accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who were excluded from literature for so long, my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction—writers of the imagination, who for the last 50 years watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.
I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.
Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not quite the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. (Thank you, brave applauders.)
Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial; I see my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to write. (Well, I love you too, darling.)
Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words.
I have had a long career and a good one. In good company. Now here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want—and should demand—our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.
A Ursula K. Le Guin - mais conhecida pela ficção científica do que pelo resto, embora me lembre de ler um conto dela na revista Ficções e de muito ter gostado - ataca com lucidez algumas regras das que são impingidas em aulas de escrita criativa. Concordo e vale a pena ler. A senhora tem aliás, um belo site, embora com um look muito anos 90.
É sina, hoje em dia, aconselhar-se toda a gente a escrever como se estivesse a preparar um filme e depois os filmes nem sempre sabem adaptar um romance, ao não saber por exemplo o que fazer à voz do narrador. É dos defeitos que encontro em "Elegia" de Isabel Coixet, adaptado de "O Animal Moribundo" de Philip Roth. O outro é talvez inevitável, um certo tom de melodrama a chegar ao fim, mas nunca perdendo as estribeiras - nada de violinos melosos, por exemplo.
Entretanto pus-me a ler o livro, mas sobre isso noutro dia.
A revista New Scientist perguntou a seis autores sobre o futuro da ficção científica, alguns mais ligados ao género, outros menos. O resultado pode ser lido aqui. São eles Margaret Atwood, Stephen Baxter, William Gibson, Ursula K Le Guin, Kim Stanley Robinson e Nick Sagan.
A questão de base é interessante, nascendo de um sentimento dominante de irrealidade que a mobilização da sociedade pela técnica e a "crise permanente" trazem às sociedades contemporâneas. Esta omnipresença da tecnologia e a questão do "futuro" são traços tradicionais na ficção científica que estão a passar para a chamada literatura tradicional, nomeadamente em alguns dos meus autores favoritos como Michael Cunningham e David Mitchell.
Passe a imodéstia na comparação, também no que escrevo os temas da ficção científica parecem transparecer cada vez mais. Todo um capítulo de "Em Silêncio, Amor" passava-se já no futuro.