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Nobody else said anything. The silence and the loud thin music went on while the boy handed back the slate and made his way out of the circle. He went off into the corridor and stood there. The group he had left began, under the director's guidance, a group story, taking turns. Shevek listened to their subdued voices and to his heart still beating fast There was a singing in his ears which was not the orchestra but the noise that came when you kept yourself from crying; he had observed this singing noise several times before. He did not like listening to it, and he did not want to think about the rock and the tree, so he turned his mind to the Square. It was made of numbers, and numbers were always cool and solid; when he was at fault he could turn to them, for they had no fault. He had seen the Square in his mind a while ago, a design fn space like the designs music made in time: a square of the first nine integers with 5 in the center. However you added up the rows they came out the same, all inequality balanced out; it was pleasant to look at If only he could make a group that liked to talk about things like that; but there were only a couple of the older boys and girls who did, and they were busy. What about the book the director had spoken of? Would it be a book of numbers? Would it show how the rock got to the tree? He had been stupid to tell the joke about the rock and the tree, nobody else even saw it was a joke, the director was right. His head ached. He looked inward, inward to the calm patterns.

the left hand of darkness ebook download

He had a ringing in his right ear for a couple of days, and a split lip that took long to heal because of the dust, which irritated all sores. He and Shevet never spoke again. He saw the man at a distance, at other cookflres, without animosity. Shevet had given him what he had to give, and he had accepted the gift. though for a long time he never weighed it or considered its nature. By the time he did so there was no distinguishing it from another gift, another epoch in his growing up. A girl, one who had recently joined his work gang, came up to him just as Shevet had in the darkness as he left the cookfire, and his lip wasn't healed yet...He never could remember what she said; she had teased him; again he responded simply. They went out into the plain in the night, and there she gave him the freedom of the flesh. That was her gift, and he accepted it Like all children of Anarres he had had sexual experience freely with both boys and girls, but he and they had been children; he had never got further than the pleasure he assumed was all there was to it Beshun, expert in delight, took him into the heart of sexuality, where there is no rancor and no ineptitude, where the two bodies striving to Join each other annihilate the moment in their striving, and transcend the self, and transcend time.

Shevek went forward slowly. He came to the bench and stood looking at the figure who sat with head bowed over the book in the green-gold dusk under the trees. It was a woman of fifty or sixty, strangely dressed, her hair pulled back in a knot. Her left hand on her chin nearly hid the stern mouth, her right held the papers on her knee. They were heavy, those papers; the cold hand on them was heavy. The light was dying fast but she never looked up. She went on reading the proof sheets of The Social Organism.

He was sketching out notes for a series of hypotheses which led to a coherent theory of Simultaneity. But that began to seem a petty goal; there was a much greater one, a unified theory of Time, to be reached, if he could jost get to it. He felt that he was in a locked room in the middle of a great open country: it was all around him, if he could find the way out, the way clear. The intuition became an obsession. During that autumn and winter he got more and more out of the habit of sleeping. A couple of hours at night and a couple more sometime during the day were enough for him, and such naps were not the kind of profound sleep he had always had before, but almost a waking on another level, they were so full of dreams. He dreamed vividly, and the dreams were part of his work. He saw time turn back upon itself, a river flowing upward to the spring. He held the contemporaneity of two moments in his left and right hands; as he moved them apart he smiled to see the moments separate like dividing soap bubbles. He got up and scribbled down, without really waking, the mathematical formula that had been eluding him for days. He saw space shrink in upon him like the walls of a collapsing sphere driving in and in towards a central void, closing, closing, and he woke with a scream for help locked in his throat, struggling in silence to escape from the knowledge of his own eternal emptiness.

Nio Esseia, a city of five million souls, lifted its delicate glittering towers across the green marshes of the Estuary as if it were built of mist and sunlight. As the train swung in smoothly on a long viaduct the city rose up taller, brighter, solider, until suddenly it enclosed the train entirely in the roaring darkness of an underground approach, twenty tracks together, and then released it and its passengers into the enormous, brilliant spaces of the Central Station, under the central dome of ivory and azure, said to be the largest dome ever raised on any world by the hand of man.

So the work was printed; and fifteen of the three hundred copies went aboard the loti freighter Mindful. Shevek never opened a copy of the printed book. In the export packet, however, he put a copy of the original, complete manuscript, handwritten. A note on the cover asked that it be given to Dr. Atro of the College of the Noble Science of leu Eun University, with the compliments of the author. It was certain that Sabul, who gave final approval to the packet, would notice the addition. Whether he took the manuscript out or left it in, Shevek did not know. He might confiscate it out of spite; he might let it go, knowing that his emasculated abridgment would not have the desired effect on Urrasti physicists. He said nothing about the manuscript to Shevek. Shevek did not ask about it.

He had been groping and grabbing after certainty, as if it were something he could possess. He had been demanding a security, a guarantee, which is not granted, and which, if granted, would become a prison. By simply assuming the validity of real coexistence he was left free to use the lovely geometries of relativity; and then it would be possible to go ahead. The next step was perfectly clear. The coexistence of succession could be handled by a Saeban transformation series; thus approached, successivity and presence offered no antithesis at all. The fundamental unity of the Sequency and Simultaneity points of view became plain; the concept of interval served to connect the static and the dynamic aspect of the universe. How could he have stared at reality for ten years and not seen it? There would be no trouble at all in going on. Indeed he had already gone on. He was there. He saw all that was to come in this first, seemingly casual glimpse of the method, given him by his understanding of a failure in the distant past. The wall was down. The vision was both clear and whole. What he saw was simple, simpler than anything else. It was simplicity: and contained in it all complexity, all promise. It was revelation. It was the way clear, the way home, the light.

He spent one day in the attic of a tenement in Joking Lane, and two nights and a day in a basement under a used-furniture store, a strange dim place full of empty mirror frames and broken bedsteads. He wrote. They brought him what he had written, printed, within a few hours: at first in the newspaper Modern Age, and later, after the Modern Age presses had been closed down and the editors arrested, as handbills run on a clandestine press, along with plans and incitations for the demonstration and general strike. He did not read over what he had written. He did not listen closely to Maedda and the others, who described the enthusiasm with which the papers were read, the spreading acceptance of the plan for the strike, the effect his presence at the demonstration would make in the eyes of the world. When they left him alone, sometimes he took a small notebook from his shirt pocket and looked at the coded notes and equations of the General Temporal Theory. He looked at them and could not read them. He did not understand them. He put the notebook away again and sat with his head between his hands.

Long after Takver had fallen asleep that night Shevek lay awake, his hands under his head, looking into darkness, hearing silence. He thought of his long trip out of the Dust, remembering the levels and mirages of the desert, the train driver with the bald, brown head and candid eyes, wto had said that one must work with time and not against it

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