Friday, April 19, 2013

Le Guin on Libraries

Ursula K. Le Guin has been my favorite writer for years. Before Hogwarts, there was Roke Knoll and Isle of the Wise. Before Raistlin, Ged chased Cobb. Before Butler's performativity of gender, there were the Gethenians. And even Harold Bloom once claimed, emphatically it would seem, "Le Guin, more than Tolkein, has raised fantasy into high literature."

In a book of essays I own by her, The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination, she writes:
Plunging into the ocean of words, roaming in the broad fields of the mind, climbing the mountains of the imagination. Just like the kid in the Carnegie or the student in Widener, that was my freedom, that was my joy. And it still is. That joy must not be sold. It must not be privatized, made into another privilege for the privileged. A public library is a public trust. And that freedom must not be compromised. It must be available to all who need it, and that's everyone, when they need it, and that's always. (22-23).


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