A biweekly series, The Ursula K. Le Guin Reread explores anew the transformative writing, exciting worlds, and radical stories that changed countless lives. This week we’ll be covering The Dispossessed, first published by Harper & Row in 1974. My edition is Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2014, and this installment of the reread covers pages 192 to the end.
Revolution is sexy.
It’s been in vogue since the 18th century when first the colonies that would become the United States, then the colonial domains of Haiti and Peru, then nation after nation across the Western world and its colonized peripheries declared new independences, new governments, new ways of relating between state and citizen. We might even go back further and speak of the many rebellions that sporadically rose up in the wake of Europeans’ “discovery” of the Americas and their enslavement and genocide of millions of black and brown folks all over the world. And even earlier, to medieval peasants’ revolts that shook the power of feudal lords in Europe and Asia, to religiously inspired rebellions across Christendom and Islamdom, and to the servile uprisings of the Roman Republic. Looked at one way, history is the story of revolutionary mo(ve)ments.