ursula le guin on the fantastical


Many of us have at least one book or tale that we read as a child and come back to now and then for the rest of our lives. A child or grandchild to read aloud to provides a good excuse, or we may have the courage to return, quite alone, to Peter Rabbit, for the keen pleasure of reading language in which every word is right, the syntax is a delight in itself and the narrative pacing is miraculous. Revisiting a book loved in childhood may be principally an indulgence in nostalgia; I knew a woman who read The Wizard of Oz every few years because it “made her remember being a child”. But returning to The Snow Queen or Kim, you may well discover a book far less simple and unambiguous than the one you remembered. That shift and deepening of meaning can be a revelation both about the book and about yourself.

more from The New Statesman here.