All Title Author
Keywords Abstract


Fantasy and Taoism in The Earthsea Cycle

DOI: 10.4236/als.2017.53005, PP. 39-55

Keywords: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Earthsea Cycle, True Name, Taoism

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib

Abstract:

The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin, regarded as one of the most successful Western fantasy novels worldwide, constructs for the readers a fantasy Earthsea world where the harmonious combination of Oriental philosophy and Western literature lays the pillar. Drawing upon the philosophy of Taoism and Tao Te Ching, and resorting to the analysis of the three most significant elements in the book, true name, this essay conducts a profound and comprehensive exploration of the Taoist wonders in The Earthsea Cycle. This essay illustrates the connections among true name, language creation view and Tao to reveal how true name reflects the nature of life and existence. At last, the essay concludes that The Earthsea Cycle is a literary work of Western fantasy entwined with Oriental Taoist philosophy. True name is the essence of existence in the Earthsea world, while magic originates from the need to develop while following the course of nature. All things in The Earthsea Cycle rely on nature and inaction, and grow within the circle of life.

References

[1]  Cassirer, E. (1946). Language and Myth. Trans. S. Langer. New York: Dover.
[2]  Comoletti, L. B., & Drout, M. D. C. (2001). How They Do Things with Words: Language, Power, Gender, and the Priestly Wizards of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Books. Children’s Literature, 29, 113-141.
[3]  Laotse. (2012). The Wisdom of Laotse. Trans. Lin Yutang. Anhui: Science and Technology Press.
[4]  Le Guin, K. U. (1968). A Wizard of Earthsea. New York: Bantam Books.
[5]  Le Guin, K. U. (1970). The Tombs of Atuan. New York: Bantam.
[6]  Le Guin, K. U. (1990). Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea. New York: Bantam Books.
[7]  Le Guin, K. U. (1998). Translator. Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching—A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way. Shambhala Publication.
[8]  Peterson, B. (2016). The Feminine and the Tao: An Interview with Ursula K. LeGuin. Embrace the Moon School for Taijiquan and Qigong. 6 May.
https://embracethemoon.com/ursula-k-leguin
[9]  Roberts, D. (2010). Ursula K. Le Guin: “Out Here”. Stage and Studio. Portland, Oregon: KBOO.
[10]  Rosenfeld, A. H. (1976). The Being of Language and the Language of Being: Heidegger and Modern Poetics. Martin Heidegger and Literature, 4, 535-553.
https://doi.org/10.2307/302152
[11]  Sartre, J.-P. (1977). Existentialism and Humanism. Denver: Haskell House.
[12]  Selinger, B. G. (1988). Le Guin and Identity in Contemporary Fiction. Ann Arbor: Umi Research Press.
[13]  Streitfeld, D. (2016). Ursula Le Guin Has Earned a Rare Honor. Just Don’t Call Her a Sci-Fi Writer. The New York Times. August 28.
[14]  Woodward, K. (2016) The Most Famous Thing Jean-Paul Sartre Never Said. Blogspot, 9 July 2010. 5 Oct. 2016.
http://rickontheater.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/most-famous-thing-jean-paul-sartre.html

Full-Text

comments powered by Disqus