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[Earthsea mainpage] Gedo Senki
(Tales from Earthsea)

Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Page 3)

16th December 2005

3rd Installment [What I found] on reading the books at age 38[1]

For example, in the first book, Ged starts out by being sent to study under the great mage Ogion. However, Ogion won't teach Ged anything. Finally Ged asks:

"'When will my apprenticeship begin, Sir?'
'It has begun,' said Ogion.
There was a silence, as if Ged was keeping back something he had to say. Then he said it: 'But I haven't learned anything yet!'
'Because you haven't found out what I am teaching.'"[2]

Finally running out of patience, Ged leaves Ogion's side and travels to the school of wizardry on the isle of Roke. However, at the school, Ged goes through the same thing again.

"'Sir, all these charms are much the same; knowing one, you know them all. And as soon as the spell-weaving ceases, the illusion vanishes. Now if I make a pebble into a diamond... ...what must I do to make that diamond remain diamond?...'"[3]

For myself, as a high school student, while I could understand the way of thinking of Ogion and the Masters of Roke, I entered into the story alongside Ged, with his headstrong[4] desire to learn. That is why when Ged, driven by ambition, makes the fatal mistake of summoning his own shadow, I was wounded along with him, and was able to recover alongside him. However, reading again at the age of 38, I discovered myself sympathising from the beginning with the words of Ogion and the Masters of Roke. I felt arrogance in Ged's attitude, and it got up my nose.

Translator's Notes

[1]: The title is the beginning of a sentence which the body of the text continues on from. "What I found out" is more or less implied by the structure.

[2]: p 25. of my edition of "A Wizard of Earthsea", the first page of chapter 2.

[3]: p 47. of my edition of "A Wizard of Earthsea".

[4]: Or "Reckless"

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