2 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2016
  2. Aug 2014
    1. So I put myself through a sort of course, reading that literature, and that led me to utopianism. And that led me, through Kropotkin, into anarchism, pacifist anarchism. And at some point it occurred to me that nobody had written an anarchist utopia. We’d had socialist utopias and dystopias and all the rest, but anarchism—hey, that would be fun. So then I read all the anarchist literature I could get, which was quite a lot, if you went to the right little stores in Portland. INTERVIEWER Where you got your books in a brown paper bag? LE GUIN You had to get to know the owner of the store. And if he trusted you, he’d take you to the back room and show you this wealth of material, some of which was violent anarchism and would have been frowned on by the government. I swam around in that stuff for a couple years before I could approach my lump of concrete again, and I discovered it had fallen apart. I had my character, and he was a physicist, but he wasn’t who I thought he was. So that book started not with an idea but with a whole group of ideas coming together. It was a very demanding book to write, because I had to invent that society pretty much from scratch, with a lot of help from the anarchist writers, particularly Americans like Paul Goodman, who had actually tried to envision what an anarchist society might be like.