Monday, January 10, 2011


Quotable: Ignorance, Civilization, & Patriotism

Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action. If it was proven there is no God there would be no religion ... But also if it were proven there is a God there would be no religion. --Character of Faxe, p. 70.

If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of those two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both. --Character of Genly Ai, p. 101.

How does one hate a country, or love one? ... I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That's a good thing, but one mustn't make virtue of it, or a profession. ... Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope. ...

A man who doesn't detest a bad government is a fool. And if there were such a thing as a good government on earth, it would be a great joy to serve it. --Character of Estraven, pp. 212-3.

Source: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (New York: Ace, 2000).

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