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“The Left Hand of Darkness” Discussion



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I am sure I read it, but more than 12 years ago ~ which means a couple of thousand other books ago. I did a whole Le Guin/Azimov year, so I can say I have read it but discussion is likely to mix up all those books. With getting a discussion going, Good luck! but I doubt I can be a voice in that conversation

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so far after the first few chapters, I feel the writer is projecting negative belief that men don't like effeminate stuff, and that men think women are sneaky and men aren't. or maybe she thinks women is all backstabby but men aren't. it's a little disappointing.


it's funny reading her write a character who struggles to be comfortable with androgynous folk, in our current culture xD  just say "they" already! but she don't know she can! everything is he and his and king and well I guess that makes sense for a male character, to see maleness everywhere. I'm not sure how apparent she's made it yet that he's translating the language, but I've  noticed almost immediately, she alluded to this a few times. IDK


the story itself feels compelling to me. some dude goes to a place that's really political, coming from a culture that lacks kingdoms and etc level of politics, where politics doesn't really play a role for him really, and here everything is all read-between-the-lines, power play, etc. and its a planet in the ice age, yuh it's interesting story,


but yeah just 2 chapters in lol. I shouldn't criticise her too much yet, for her whole men-think-this-way flaw. lol.

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On 2017-11-09 at 6:35 PM, NullVector said:




@Holmbo might have read it too (?)

Indeed I have. I read it cause I love The Dispossessed by Le Guinn and I wanted to read more of her. I didn't like this book nearly as much as The Dispossessed though. I reread it recently and I liked it better then, I think i was too confused the first time about the different characters and the somewhat non-reliable narration of the main character. The things I like about it is the world building of this constantly cold world and it societies. The gender aspects didn't really make a huge impact to me. I think the way she uses the pronoun 'he' for everyone made me just think of it as a planet full of men, which sometimes could have babies.

When it comes to reflections on gender I find the author Ann Leckie to be much more interesting. Her trilogy Imperial Radch takes place in a culture where people have no concept of gender. Most of the time one doesn't know which sex the character is, they are all refereed to as 'she' and relatives as 'daughter', 'mother' etc. To me this makes for a much more interesting read because it separates the idea of sex and gender.

Sorry for going off topic. I'd be happy to discuss the Left Hand of Darkness still, even though I don't have much reflection about the sex and gender aspects.

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