Prompt: Butler (group 2)

On Tuesday we will continue our discussion of Butler. Our main focus will be “Speech Sounds,” but we will also compare the three stories of Butler’s we are reading in light of her personal essay “Positive Obsession.”

In reading “Speech Sounds,” I highly recommend using a mapping site (like Google Maps) to get a sense for the geography of the story. For example, if I have done this right, Rye’s journey begins around the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Virginia Road. Search for other locations mentioned in the text. I’ll invite everyone to talk about city geography in the discussion.

I would like Group 2 bloggers, however, to write comparatively. Think about Philip Dick’s vision of life after World War Terminus (or, if you like, Ridley Scott’s): there are many resonances with the broken-down society envisioned in “Speech Sounds.” Choose a specific moment in “Speech Sounds” to compare to Dick, but rather than comparing the settings or circumstances, compare effects. Does Butler’s use of the post-disaster world allow for the same responses as Dick? Or if not, how does the Butler passage you are choosing indicate what is different.

Write only a paragraph. Group 1 bloggers are welcome to fill in an extra entry (opportunities for this are running out!). Entries are due as usual on Monday at 5 p.m.

Extra: Butler left her papers to the Huntington library in Pasadena. The library has a web page with some material on her, including some images from her notebooks. Especially striking are her self-motivational notes, one of which is reproduced here and worth thinking about as evidence of Butler’s relationship to the field of publishing.

Author: AG

Associate Professor, Department of English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick