The problem of drugs, of divorce, of race prejudice, of unmarried pregnancy, and so on — as if evil were a problem, something that an be solved, that has an answer, like a problem in fifth grade arithmetic. If you want the answer, you just look in the back of the book. That is escapism, that posing evil as a “problem,” instead of what it is: all the pain and suffering and waste and loss and injustice we will meet our loves long, and must face and cope with over and over and over, and admit, and live with, in order to live human lives at all.

Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929) American writer
“The Child and the Shadow,” Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress (Apr 1975)

On the difficulty of "realistic fiction" for children to teach morality. First delivered as a speech; later reprinted in The Language of the Night (1979).

Added on 3-Jan-22 | Last updated 3-Jan-22
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