Everyday Semiotics

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Disposessed

Just finished reading the extraordinary novel The Disposessed by Ursula K. LeGuinn: a love story that happens to center on the journey of a brilliant physicist from his anarchosyndicalist homeworld (Anarres) to a very thinly-veiled Earth (Urras).

Although I imagine older readers might differ with this assessment, it seems to me the book is absolutely nondated despite its being very communist in subject matter (it was written in 1974).

It managed, despite its deliberate colliding of communist and capitalist worlds, not to be preachy, not to try to puff up one ideology and make the other look foolish. Both worlds were complicated, both were depicted with warts and all.

(Having read it, I'm now finally ready to begin Jameson's newish Archaeologies of the Future, which, just to show you how lazy I've been about reading fiction and criticism, I got LAST Christmas [I had to read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy and Delany's Trouble on Triton first, naturally].)

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