Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ursula Le Guin: The Day Before the Revolution

I just read this short story, out loud, for Melissa and I while we were driving home from defending my dissertation proposal in Illinois (it was accepted and approved!). Its a very powerful character study of an anarchist innovator reflecting back on her life, while dealing with her present day's events, on the eve of her revolutionary moment:

"Odonianism is anarchism. Not the bomb-in-the-pocket stuff, which is terrorism, whatever name it tries to dignify itself with; not the social-Darwinist economic 'libertarianism' of the far right; but anarchism, as pre-figured in early Taoist thought, and expounded by Shelley and Kropotkin, Goldman and Goodman. Anarchism's principal target is the authoritarian State (capitalist or socialist); its principal moral-practical theme is cooperation (solidarity, mutual aid). It is the most idealistic, and to me the most interesting, of all political theories." -- From the prefatory remarks to "The Day Before the Revolution," in The Wind's Twelve Quarters (HarperCollins: 1975).

LeGuin and Anarchism

LeGuin's Personal Website

eBook version of the short story only 99 cents

And damn if I didn't find it available online:

The Day Before the Revolution


The Continental Op said...

A hearty congratulations on the acceptance of your dissertation, Dr. Abhor!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Continental Op! but it was the "proposal" that was accepted (approval of the project) and now I have to write it (or finish writing it)