Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Octavia Butler... and beyond

Octavia E. Butler, how do I admire thee? Let me count the ways...

My love of Kindred, when read during my undergraduate student, contributed to my choice to pursue grad school. My reading of Dawn made me love what OEB can make science fiction become. (My need to get my hands on the rest of the Xenogenesis series is imminent, but I haven't the patience to negotiate with people online to special order out of print copies).

Right now I'm working on Fledgling. It has been a guilty pleasure, I must admit (which, while it was a self-proclaimed "lark" by Butler, is quickly becoming more and more insightful in my mind). Fledgling is like an amalgamation of Lolita and Twilight (I imagine, having not read Twilight, but being forced to watch the first movie on an airplaine, I think I get the gist). I am having difficulty tolerating the sex between a grown man and a vampire (apparently in her early 50s) stuck in a twelve-year-old's body. I'm still trying to figure out if Butler was gunning for a more powerful overarching metaphor...some sort of critique on race, sex, and sexuality... and gender politics in our society. However, she never seems to settle on an overarching goal. Butler tries to break down every possible socially constructed boundary on sex, intimacy, and racial politics, which, while admirable, leaves me wanting a bit more. In Fledgling, her metaphors and goals seem to be less thought out than in her other works. (But I'll forgive you, Octavia.) Although, I suppose I should suspend judgement until I have completely finished the book.

A more complete review of Fledgling is soon to come!

Today I feel fearless. I've been blogging for years, but this is my first public blog on reading, writing, and words. I will possibly include film reviews. Well, I'm excited. Are you?


Mentioned works:

(Highly Recommended: Dawn and Kindred)

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