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These key texts foreground suffering children. Each founds its ethics in recoil from such horror but recycles it nonetheless, caught in ethical impossibility, repeating what it critiques. Poststructuralism stresses ethics as necessarily paradoxical, a response when there are no clear choices. Narrative provides a site for these insoluble dilemmas, encoding a voyeuristic ethics in excess of individual choices. Yet when narratives display children as the symbol of anguished lived contradictions, the rhetorical effects of this decision implicate those who take it. Ethics as theory provides a means to think through and in such inexplicable questions our readings uncover.
In the following essay, Collins discusses Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" as a piece of sociopolitical fiction, and asks why this and other such stories have not succeeded in transforming the American conscience.
An interview with American science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin is presented. Particular focus is on her approach to literature. Le Guin discusses topics including her feelings about being labeled as a science fiction author, the impact of her father's career as an anthropologist with her treatment of othering in her works, and her interest in Taoism and Buddhism.
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