31 July 2015

Notes on Earthsea

I Spent all night working through Thomas's Third Way.  I should be sleeping now, but instead I finished reading a novel, so I wanted to write something about it.

This week I read the three books of the original Earthsea trilogy by Ursula Le Guin.  Having read nothing by Le Guin prior to this, except perhaps a short story in middle school, it was a positive experience.  The first and third books of the series were better than the second, but I think only the first (A Wizard of Earthsea) had a really impressive level of philosophical and psychological depth.  Reading plot summaries of the later books, and thinking back on the themes of the original three, it seems like Le Guin is fixated on death and the dead.  Her portrayal of the underworld was peculiar.  The amount of power she gives to these dark spirits and "Old Powers" was odd.  I'm sure it has some sort of Jungian basis, but from this reader's perspective it comes across as oddly obsessive, especially given the lack of substance to it all.  But the first book was really good.