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Fri Nov 21, 2014, 01:26 AM

Ursula K. Le Guin gives a powerful speech at the National Book Awards

Accepting a lifetime achievement award last night, she indicted the literary establishment and Amazon.com, calling for the end of the commodification of art.

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Reply Ursula K. Le Guin gives a powerful speech at the National Book Awards (Original post)
sweetloukillbot Nov 2014 OP
RufusTFirefly Nov 2014 #1
DreamGypsy Nov 2014 #2
sweetloukillbot Nov 2014 #6
List left Nov 2014 #3
cprise Nov 2014 #4
MrMickeysMom Nov 2014 #5

Response to sweetloukillbot (Original post)

Fri Nov 21, 2014, 01:44 AM

1. One of the country's most respected anarchists

Despite what some people think, they don't all wear black and break windows.

And, by the way, this is a great speech -- a warning from a wise woman and a great artist.

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Original post)

Fri Nov 21, 2014, 02:14 AM

2. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit.........

...it is freedom.

[link:http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/20/365434149/book-news-ursula-k-le-guin-steals-the-show-at-the-national-book-awards|
Book News: Ursula K. Le Guin Steals The Show At The National Book Awards]

"I rejoice in accepting [this prize] for, and sharing it with, all the writers who were excluded from literature for so long: my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction," Le Guin said.

She reserved her most incendiary language for the recently resolved pricing dispute between Amazon and the publisher Hachette Book Group.

"We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa," she said. "And I see a lot of us, the producers, accepting this — letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant!"

"The crowd went wild," Mayer noted. "Really, you could have ended the evening there and almost everyone would have gone home happy — except for the Amazon contingent, who notably had no comment on Le Guin's speech, or the ribbing they endured throughout the night."

And at the after-party, the speech was still on people's minds, including Jynne Martin, the associate publisher at Riverhead books. As she told Mayer, it was "the most ferocious speech ever given at the National Book Awards."


Such is the world as viewed through The Eye of the Heron.

Thank you, Ms. Le Guin, you truly made a distinguished contribution to American letters ... and to the lives of all the citizens of the planet.

Thanks for the post, sweetloukillbot.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 21, 2014, 06:27 PM

6. Your welcome!

This speech really hit me, I was initially interested because of her indictment of lit-fic snobs - an argument I've been having since college, but her points on Capitalism and Amazon and the commodification of art were even more powerful.
But when she talked about looking back at the end of her career, I got a little choked up. She is such a treasure.
I read the Earthsea Trilogy (at that time that's all it was!) when I was a kid 30 years ago, and I've just rediscovered her more mature work. She is a prophetic and powerful voice. The Left Hand of Darkness is a mind-blowing examination of gender.
I saw Kim Stanley Robinson speak a few weeks ago, and I swear I saw her in the audience, but it was in Phoenix and I have no idea why she would have been in town with him (although they both fall into the anarcho/enviromental/feminist sci-fi crowd).

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Original post)

Fri Nov 21, 2014, 02:20 AM

3. x 10,000 nt

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Original post)

Fri Nov 21, 2014, 02:33 AM

4. It reminded me of this

Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/science/billionaires-with-big-ideas-are-privatizing-american-science.html

They are not the same thing, though it occurs to me one may be the stepping stone to the latter.

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Original post)

Fri Nov 21, 2014, 08:10 AM

5. Recommended!!!!

Okay…..

And, I am not a member of this club of readers (well, yes, I am, but not as much literature as I ought to)

Thanks for the post. The message rings true.

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