It’s been more than a month since the bell to class forced me to save, in a hurry, the draft of this post. Meanwhile, one of my beloved cats suddenly passed away and although I kept on with my life, I couldn’t post neither the review I had set myself to finish nor anything else. Being as I am, writing would have made me speak about my lost friend and I don’t feel like it.
But I feel an annoying sense of duty towards those aims I set myself to, even when I’m absolutely aware that there isn’t anybody waiting for my wise words to enlighten their lives; so here is my final review on The Earthsea Trilogy.
In terms of interest, The Farthest Shore was the book I read most eagerly. I think it’s because it started from scratch with two characters building up a friendship. And here comes the core of this trilogy. I couldn’t stop wondering along the three books how it could be that I felt so marvelled at LeGuin’s universe and so repelled by it at the same time. I came to understand why it was so when I identified the cornerstone of this universe.
Earthsea is created upon a transcendent idea: The Word. The author has complete comprehension of what a name can do. Her conceptualization is so perfect and powerful it gives her tale a sacred aura. I kept on thinking on The Gospel of John while I read the books and on the Egyptian belief in the power hidden in the names of things. That, and her command of the art of writing captivated me.
Then comes the however.
This world transpires utter loneliness. Le Guin is definitely a pro at provoking that state of mind in the reader. It is as if she took the warm and gentle ideas we inherited from the Mesopotamian civilizations and made them live in a Beowulf-like world which is cold, somber and again, I can’t find other words to describe it, utterly lonely. After I realized all this, I finally found the cornerstone of my rejection: as I said before, I don’t want to live in a fantasy world that is so much alike the one I live in (and I explicitly avoided the term ‘real world’ because I’m not sure that the world I experience everyday is of that nature). There’s this picture that keeps on coming to my mind of me on a spaceship hovering LeGuin’s world, admiring it deeply, but not choosing it to land on because it’s… too dangerous.
Another whole topic is Arren’s emotional and mental journey into friendship and apprenticeship. His fluctuations and how he is innerly affected by the experiences he has also tell of a superb writer.
Finally, I was left at the end with that feeling of inconsistency again. As if the tale had been so meticulously elaborated towards the end and then loosely finished. At the risk of making a classic masterpiece into a cheap tale, I wanted a more romantic ending for Ged and I don’t mean love. I wanted a more detailed account of him having finally a happy ending of sorts.