Ursula K. Le Guin on art and “Freedom”

Ursula K. Le Guin. Photo by Marion Wood Kolisch/National Book Foundation
Ursula K. Le Guin. Photo by Marion Wood Kolisch © 2014, publicity photo from Ursula K. Le Guin site

American author Ursula K. Le Guin on Wednesday slammed the U.S. publishing industry’s “ignorance and greed,” and issued a cri de coeur. She spoke out for artists in a world where “hard times are coming” and writers will be needed to offer hope and freedom, and “see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being.”

Le Guin won this year’s prestigious Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, given by the U.S. National Book Foundation to recognize “individuals who have made an exceptional impact on this country’s literary heritage.”

The award was announced in September, but presented at a gala on Wednesday, and Le Guin’s frank acceptance speech is garnering global attention for its demand for action. “The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art,” she said. “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.”

… Click here for a transcript and video of her speech: Verbatim: Ursula K. Le Guin’s call to action (no charge*)






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