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Re: <nettime> The Creative Question--Nine Theses
nettime's_roving_reader on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:20:00 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Creative Question--Nine Theses

Ursula K. Le Guin's statement on being honored at the National Book Awards
< http://parkerhiggins.net/2014/11/will-need-writers-can-remember-freedom-ursula-k-le-guin-national-book-awards/ >:

     Thank you Neil, and to the givers of this beautiful reward, my
     thanks from the heart. My family, my agent, editors, know that my
     being here is their doing as well as mine, and that the beautiful
     reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice at accepting it
     for, and sharing it with, all the writers who were excluded from
     literature for so long, my fellow authors of fantasy and science
     fiction -- writers of the imagination, who for the last 50 years
     watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.

     I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices
     of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can
     see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive
     technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real
     grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom.
     Poets, visionaries -- the realists of a larger reality.

     Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference
     between the production of a market commodity and the practice of
     an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in
     order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not
     quite the same thing as responsible book publishing or
     authorship. (Thank you, brave applauders.)

     Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial; I see
     my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed,
     charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more
     than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish
     a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate
     fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books,
     and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers
     sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to
     write. (Well, I love you too, darling.)

     Books, you know, they're not just commodities. The profit motive
     often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism.
     Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.
     Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.
     Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our
     art -- the art of words.

     I have had a long career and a good one. In good company. Now
     here, at the end of it, I really don't want to watch American
     literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and
     publishing want -- and should demand -- our fair share of the proceeds.
     But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. It's name is

     Thank you.

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