Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Whose history is this anyway?

There's a really wonderful interview with Ursula K. Le Guin over at Den of Geek!

Among other things, she talks about (women) writers getting "disappeared":

I said that specifically talking about what happens to women writers. They get disappeared very quickly, so often and so unjustly. Then there has to be this laborious attempting to bring them back, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not. There is a real injustice there. It's awful to think that you might just get sort of swept off the map simply because you were a woman writer instead of a man writer. You know, what the hell?


It hit on a couple of things for me. First, there's a Terry Pratchett quote that's been making the rounds lately which says: "No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away." And that's what disappearing is, isn't it? It's taking out the ripples.

Then there's the Hugo Awards controversy. Underlying the various puppy slates seems to be a hearkening back to the good old days when boys were boys and girls weren't allowed in the tree fort. Except — unless the people experiencing these memories are actually adventurers hailing from a (rather miserable, it sounds) parallel universe — that's a false history. Take a look at 1970, for instance. (That was 45 years ago, in case anyone can't do math.) That was the year Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness won the award for best novel. Among the other nominees was Slaughterhouse-Five. I'm not saying that there was always great diversity, but it seems very important to recognize what diversity there was. Not everything was a rollicking boy's own adventure. Seems to me, the only way the idea that the puppies are reacting against a trend toward a nomination of diverse and literary fiction actually works is if you've mentally disappeared a lot of authors, among them Le Guin herself.

I don't have a conclusion. I'm mostly just disquieted and interested in a discussion. So there you go.


(Also, this isn't mainpaging material, but I'm going to ask not to be mainpaged in any case, because I wrote this very quickly and have not have time to Teflon-coat everything.)

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