The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Light and Dark in Earthsea

Caricature of Ursula K. Le Guin by John Sherffius

In Ursula K. Le Guin's trailblazing fantasy novel, A Wizard of Earthsea, many lessons are imparted on the acolyte, Ged, about how to live in a world marked by light and dark, good and evil. At one point, the sage Ogion the Silent tells Ged: "But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and of Summoning can shake the balance of the world.... To light a candle is to cast a shadow." Here's a haunting bonus track from our audio documentary about Earthsea with another piece of smart advice from Ogion to Ged. [1:54]

[audio:http://bigreadblog.arts.gov/audio/Ogion.mp3]

[transcript]

Add new comment