100 short stories:: story 90

story: The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

author: Ursula Le Guin

year: 1975

where: kitchen table UAE, new bird mug

note: social contracts, distant pain we cannot hear, sewn ears

a line: “The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.”

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