In a fantasy story called “A Wizard of Earthsea,” a young man named “Ged” is learning to become a wizard. His training program is aimed at helping him to distinguish between darkness and light, between good and evil, but knowing also their coexistence in this world. The training includes a long pilgrimage — a journey of learning and purification in which Ged is haunted by a dark shadow following him. The shadow hunts him and haunts him relentlessly. Finally, it is revealed to him that he will lose his soul if he does not become a hunter himself. So he sets out to hunt down his shadow — to destroy it, just as it would have destroyed him . . .
One day, in a boat in which he has followed the shadow out to sea, he finally confronts his quarry. It comes toward him in silence until man and shadow are face to face. Then, breaking the silence, Ged and the shadow speak each…
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