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Imaginary Lines

How does one hate a country, or love one? …I lack the trick of it. I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills, but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of one’s country; is it hate of one’s uncountry? Then it’s not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That’s a good thing, but one mustn’t make a virtue of it, or a profession… Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

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