The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction



Published Nov. 4, 2019 by Ignota Books.

5 stars (2 reviews)

In The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, visionary author Ursula K. Le Guin tells the story of human origin by redefining technology as a cultural carrier bag rather than a weapon of domination.

Hacking the linear, progressive mode of the Techno-Heroic, the Carrier Bag Theory of human evolution proposes: ‘before the tool that forces energy outward, we made the tool that brings energy home.’ Prior to the preeminence of sticks, swords and the Hero’s killing tools, our ancestors’ greatest invention was the container: the basket of wild oats, the medicine bundle, the net made of your own hair, the home, the shrine, the place that contains whatever is sacred. The recipient, the holder, the story. The bag of stars.

This influential essay opens a portal to terra ignota, where the possibilities of human experience and knowledge can be discovered anew.

1 edition


5 stars

I've read the original edition from The Anarchist Library (hence no Donna Haraway introduction or Lee Bull illustrations).

However, that's more than what you need to realise how the patriarchy (or whatever you want to identify as the main issue) has infected literally anything. Also the way we see, use and absorb storytelling.

Like, I've possibly thought about all of those issues listed in this tiny book already, but the way Le Guin just put them altogether while also offering a constructive alternative is enlightening.