The Dispossessed

An Ambiguous Utopia

Hardcover, 387 pages

English language

Published Aug. 14, 1991 by Harper Paperbacks.

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5 stars (31 reviews)

Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

55 editions

Um livro de ideias

5 stars

Esse é um livro que faz pensar, faz questionar várias coisas e refletir se elas vão poderiam ser diferentes. Tudo que Shevek tem é uma ideia, e quem espera muita ação vai ser decepcionar, pois tudo que ele tem é uma ideia. Uma ideia que, de certa forma é parresiasta, apostando a vida dele contra a sua.

Demorei uns seis meses para ler o livro, mas acredito que ele irá reverberar por muito mais tempo comigo. Vale a pena.

Le Guin is a fucking genius

5 stars

This book blew. My. Mind. I'm serious, for this alone Ursula K Le Guin became my fav sci-fi author, leaps and bounds above anybody else. She showed me what you can do with science fiction, how you can break the limits of the imagination. It is the first time I actually managed to picture a non-hierarchical society and it is so real, so visceral, that things clicked and I realized that "wait, this is possible!?" And she does that with a completely made up story set in two completely made up societies, both fleshed out with their greatness and infamy, their ideologies and contradictions.

It is NOT an easy read: Le Guin happily forces your brain to do some mental gymnastic, where things don't make any sense until a few pages later when they suddenly, perfectly do, things click in place and your mind is blown.

It is the book …

Holy fuck

5 stars

Wow. What else is there to say? This book was a buffet of ideas ranging from sexism, capitalism, socialism, the military-industrial complex, and politics. I especially enjoyed Le Guin's writing on women, but anarchist and archist, through the eyes of the anarchist main character. For the first few chapters I was amazed at Le Guin's interpretation at an anarchist utopian, and took it as a blueprint for the work we socialists have to do here on Earth. But as the book progressed we learned more about the so-called utopia and it's possible fault -- one of which being politics and the formation of government--and I finished the book with more questions than answers. This was a delightful and nerdy read.

Review of 'Los desposeídos' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Una obra que vuelve a usar la ciencia ficción como entrada pero que es un análisis y una reflexión sobre la sociedad, desde la luna Anarres, donde la sociedad se organiza en un modo anarquista/socialissta al planeta Urras, donde tras un conflicto estos últimos fueron expulsados y donde el planeta se organiza en base a oligopolios y un capitalismo salvaje. Como nexo entre ambos mundos el protagonista intenta establecer un diálogo, intentando propiciar el desarrollo de ambas sociedades con la colaboración científica. Un libro que no deja de ser una reflexión y un golpe sobre la mesa sobre la política, la sociedad y el papel de la ciencia y los científicos.

One of the books I want to keep returning to

5 stars

I first read this book 20 years ago in a German translation and liked it a lot, but I didn't get a lot of it. Now, reading the English original and having had more of a political education, at first I was: "Is this book as good as I remember it?", but then, I enjoyed it even more.

I love that it's not an unbroken utopia and the ending leaves some things open. I also liked how it shows how power-laden relationships and positions can inadvertently creep back into a society that's not supposed to have them.

the ambiguous utopia

5 stars

I read The Dispossessed when I was way too young to "get it" and I honestly remembered very little except for the scene at the beginning where Shevek lands on Urras and the guard getting hit in the head and killed by a rock. I'm glad I decided to pick it up this time around - at the end of last week, students were asking me about some positive/utopian sci-fi that wasn't all about battles and/or white dudes, and this one immediately came to mind.

I've been thinking about the relationship of individual to larger collective/org and how that relates to work for a while as I've been trying to navigate some personnel matters that come down to trying to get staff to stop thinking about their individual fulfillment/sense of purpose and start thinking about the collective fulfillment/purpose of the library+college. MPOW is also going through an organizational restructuring right …

Review of 'The Dispossessed' on 'LibraryThing'

5 stars

A lovely exploration of a utopia that Le Guin managed to make seem both appealing and plausible without shrinking from the sacrifices that it entailed.

At times the weird temporal structure of the book confused me, though it does make sense given the principal character's work. And there are moments when the utopians' political talk starts to feel like author lecturing reader - though really only moments, this isn't one of those books that bludgeons you with its rhetoric. It is one of those that I've spent as long thinking about after finishing as I had spent reading it, because there's more substance and subtletly to its politics and sociological observation than you might expect after I've thrown the "utopia" label at it.