How are you doing with The Dispossessed?

Happy Solstice, everyone! Sorry I haven’t been around here lately; it’s been almost a week. It seems in the days before Xmas everything has converged, all kinds of work needing to be done, and I’ve had nary a moment for writing or reading—and not much more for sleeping.

I had been deeply into the book—really thoroughly enjoying it, discovering all kinds of interesting connections, even digging into related materials on anarcho-syndicalism, etc. I think I got through chapter 7 and then boom. Lights off. Door closed. I was suddenly needed in a different room.

It hasn’t been all bad, though. Yes, a big pile of work fell on my head. Annoying website stuff. But I also turned my attention to our next book in a major way. As some of you may know, @Jeremy and I have been getting ready to host a reading of Jean Gebser’s weighty work of historical-cultural poetic philosophy, The Ever-Present Origin.

If “December of The Dispossessed” was the beta test for this #litgeeks project, then “Winter of Origins” is going to be the “1.0” real deal. We only invited a handful of people to this, and never shared the link publicly, but with The Ever-Present Origin, we’re going to open things up.

You can learn more about Winter of Origins here. I’ll start a separate thread for those interested.

But I also want to get back The Dispossessed, finish the book over Christmas.

We dropped the ball on organizing a second hangout. That was mostly my doing, as I got completely absorbed in other work. But the good news is we’ve scheduled another hangout for next Wednesday, 12/30, at 6 pm PST / 9 pm EST. (Time zone conversion.)

I hope this will give us all a chance to read to the end of the book and integrate it together.

We’re going to try a different system (not Google) for the video. Hopefully it will be easier for everyone who wants to to join. If you’d like to participate, all you have to do is sign up here.

I hope to see some of you on the 30th!

But in the meantime, I’m curious, how are you doing with the book? Have you had time to read? What have you liked or not liked? What’s been interesting or intriguing to you?

There are a bunch of people who signed up at the beginning but haven’t chimed in yet here. Are you still around?

Perhaps in the days after Christmas, more of us can catch up and interface a little.

Let’s finish The Dispossessed and round out our discussion! Gebser is coming

@madrush - I have been on the road this week, part of a 4000km round trip to the Woodford Folk Festival, where I will be for the next 7 days, I don’t get back to my desk until 11th January. I have enjoyed reading The Dispossessed and will join the EPO reading group :slight_smile:

That festival looks awesome, @Spacious! Especially love the artwork. See you when you get back. We start The Ever-Present Origin on the 11th, in fact!

I finished listening to The Dispossessed a week ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am waiting for everyone to finish so I can write without worrying about spoilers.

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I just finished chapter 10 and feel like I reached the real payoff of the book. It’s where Shevek, talking with Takver, then staying up late into the night thinking about it, realizes (and recommits to) his “cellular function” within the Odonian “social organism”—how this relates to working with time instead of against it; which I think will prove key to solving the sequency/simultaneity integration problem in physics as well.

(I hope this isn’t a spoiler, but you DO have to read it to get the full effect.)

I’m surprised by how Nietzschean the inner conclusions of the book are turning out to be–from the primacy of the individual creative will to the theme of eternal return–it seems what Le Guin arrives at is an irreducibility of the self in service of the whole.

As well, the idea of timeless being finding fulfillment in time—which means in change, in becoming, yet also in continuity, in fidelity (with the interesting connotations of this for signal-based communication technologies, and among people)—seems to be her way of countering the stagnation of utopian energies in pools of isolated ideology.

Really wonderful stuff. Looking forward to finishing the book this weekend, and the hangout on Wednesday.