Buy Ursula K. Le Guin's old house in Berkeley

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/08/buy-ursula-k-le-guins-old-h.html

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Built in 1907, sounds like the place she grew up in, but hadn’t lived in since at least the late 40’s (if the wikipedia timeline is to be trusted). So, yeah, not sure how much writing she got done right after graduating high school.

That being said, looks like a gorgeous old place, and at that price tag, you might reel in a few more who’d bite. Can’t blame the realtors for a little sumpin’ sumpin’ extra on the “for sale” notice.

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A beautiful house, except for that one closet. Just open it once and there’s no need to go back.

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Wood love to live in that house.

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Her parents were also famous, and obviously a large influence on her.

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Her father studied under Franz Boaz, apparently! Did not know that!

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Love that office. I could get a lot of writing done in there.

Well, I could get a lot of pretending to write done in there, whilst sipping tea.

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Almost 3,700 square feet, $4.1 million price, in Berkeley?

That’s a big expensive house in a big expensive place to live.

Gorgeous home. Typical Bay Area price. A little too much wood paneling for me, though.

And of course:

It’s a weird market: prices seem to stall out for houses like that: houses half the size, in much less desirable neighborhoods with no views or fancy interior work are still over a million:

https://www.zillow.com/berkeley-ca/home-values/

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No wonder she grew up to be so fucking awesome and to write such thoughtful and inspiring stories…

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Yes, yes it does.

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I stayed at an Airbnb in-law apartment once in Potrero Hill (SF) that was apparently where Frank Herbert had written Dune.

That’s going to take a lot of Lemon Pledge to keep clean.

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The staging is elegant.

Makes sense.

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Not only did Ursula’s dad study under Boaz, the Anthro building on the Berkeley campus is named after him…and Ursula’s mom wrote Ishi…BUT: Ursula was in the same English class at Berkeley High with Philip K. Dick…and they didn’t really know each other. When they became famous, they corresponded, argued over metaphysical subjects, and even talked on the phone, but never met in person!

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I think I could live in it. It has an American Craftsman feel to it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Absolutely Gorgeous! I’d live there.

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LeGuin wrote a beautiful essay, “Living in a Work of Art” about that house, and growing up in it. You can find it in a collection of hers called “Words are my Matter” (2016). The house was designed by an architect, Bernard Maybeck, who is apparently of some considerable fame (Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco). Her family lived there from 1925 until her mother’s death in 1979.

As for it’s influence on her writing, LeGuin says “I don’t know what novel our Maybeck house could be compared to, but it would contain darkness and radiant light; its beauty would arise from honest, bold, inventive construction, from geniality and generosity of spirit and mind, and would also have elements of fantasy and strangeness. Writing this, I wonder if much of my understanding of what a novel ought to be was taught to me, ultimately, by living in that house. If so, perhaps all my life I have been trying to rebuild it around me out of words.”

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I must admit I really dislike this style of video which is more about the glossy sheen of the editing and the generic glossy music. This would work a lot better for a McMansion than a property that has much aesthetic appeal. Do they really need to cut every 2 or 3 seconds - many times on the same space. Would much prefer to see well timed lingering stills than crafted pans and cranked timing.

End of rant

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