In revisiting her Earthsea world, Ursula K. LeGuin invites the reader to ponder how notions such as equality hang on the vision one has of the afterlife. This passage for me is peculiarly compelling with its echoes of Lucretius.
“I think,” Tehanu said in her soft, strange voice, “that when I die, I can breathe back the breath that made me live. I can give back to the world all that I didn’t do. All that I might have been and couldn’t be. All the choices I didn’t make. All the things I lost and spent and wasted. I can give them back to the world. To the lives that haven’t been lived yet. That will be my gift back to the world that gave me the life I did live, the love I loved, the breath I breathed.”
From the novel, The Other Wind. This in contrast to a land of the dead where the shades roam without engaging encounters, without intercourse and exchange. A good part of this later novel is about releasing the dead — not only an intriguing premise but also a fascinating story.
And so for day 813