Friday, January 16, 2009

How does one hate a country, or love one?

"How does one hate a country, or love one? ... I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of one's county; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then its not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That's a good thing, but one mustn't make a virtue of it, or a profession... Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope."

-the character Estraven from Ursula K. Le Guin's Hugo and Nebula winning novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, pg 212 (1969)