My Senior Gift Pictorally: To Think About

The Telling

          "She walked back down the stairs, flashed her ZIL at the exit, walked ten blocks to the nearest Corp-Star foodshop, flashed her ZIL at the entrance. All the foods were packaged, processed, frozen, convenient; nothing fresh, nothing to cook...." pg. 28

          "Sutty found it amazingly easy to talk to people on the boat. In Dovza City everything had conspired to keep her reserved and silent. Though the four offworlders were given apartments and a certain freedom of movement, the Corporation scheduled their lives very closely with appointments, programming and supervising their work and amusements. Not that they were the only ones so controlled: Aka's abrupt and tremendous technological advance was sustained by rigid discipline universally enforced and self-enforced. It seemed that everybody in the city worked hard, worked long hours, slept short hours, ate in haste. Every hour was scheduled. Everybody she'd been in touch with in the Ministries of Poetry and of Information knew exactly what they wanted her to do and how she should do it, and as soon as she started doing as they directed, they hurried off about their business, leaving her to hers." pgs. 31-32

          "In the city, at every hotel and apartment house, restaurant, shop, store, office, or bureau, every entrance and exit ran an automatic check of your personal ID chip, the all-important ZIL, the warranty of your existence as a producer-consumer entered in the data banks of the Corporation. .... Most Akans had their chip embedded in the left wrist." pg. 47

          "....'Your government, I know, prefers that its people learn new ways, not dwelling on their past. But.... we believe that a useful knowledge of the present is rooted in the past...." pg. 88

          "...."'We do not see the roots,' he said.

          She listened.

          'The trunk of the tree,' he said, indicating the element of the design that, in a building, was the double-leafed door. 'The branches and foliage of the tree, the crown of leaves.' He indicated the five-lobed 'cloud' that rose above the trunk. 'Also this is the body, you see, yoz,' He touched his own hips and sides, patted his head with a certain leafy motion of the fingers, and smiled a little. 'The body is the body of the world. The world's body is my body. So, then, the one makes two.' His finger showed where the trunk divided. 'And the two bear each three branches, that rejoin, making five.' His finger moved to the five lobes of foliage. 'And the five bear the myriad, the leaves and flowers that die and return, return and die. The beings, creatures, stars. The being that can be told. But we don't see the roots. We cannot tell them.'" pg. 89

          "The Corporation, of course, had introduced a new ethic, with new virtues such as public spirit and patriotism, and a vast new area of crime: participation in banned activities.... Banned, illicit, illegal, deviant: these new categories redefined behavior, but they were without moral meaning except to their authors." pg. 110

          "I did. But the Historians study the way knowledge should be taught, so that what people learn is genuine knowledge, not a bit here and a bit there that don't fit together. There's a Hainish parable of the Mirror. If the glass is whole, it reflects the whole world, but broken, it shows only fragments, and cuts the hand that holds it." pg. 228

From The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin. Copyrighted 2000.

Last Modified: 13 October 2006 EST