17 November, 2009


That's alright, then

Listening with about a third of an ear to A Good Read on the steam wireless. (I tend to have Radio 4 on in the background more or less by default as aural wallpaper, to be honest, only leaping up to turn it off when the Archers come on.)

Anyway, the book under discussion is Ursula LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea and the discussion focuses briefly on the various ethnic groups in the imagined world, bringing out the point that the people of Earthsea are for the most part "red-brown" in colouring, rather like North American Indians. (I paraphrase heavily.)

There follows a brief group fret — and I kid you not — over whether this assertion is racist. The book's proponent, Erica Wagner, steps in to save the day by mentioning another ethnic group in the imagined world, the Kargs(?), who are apparently White, Viking-like and rather nasty bastards.

So that's alright, then.

Is the world going mad or am I?

That could only be a Radio 4 discussion...

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