Parable Series by Octavia Butler
Conversation 1: Introductions to the Parables and the “Talents” of Octavia Butler
Readers Underground participants:
Recorded 8 August, 2018
Geoffrey leads off the group with Octavia Butler’s biographical information and some starter questions:
What brings you to this group?
What do you know about Octavia Butler and why are you drawn to read her books?
What else do we know about Butler’s life and writing choices?
How is her work situated and understood in relation to other science fiction writers?
In relation to other writers in general?
New participants introduce themselves and the group orients gracefully to the text, discussing body and mind; spirituality and religion; dreams, reality, and prophecy.
YouTube Recording timestamps:
0:01 : Participants first thoughts/reactions 17:00 : Geoffrey provides Butler’s biographical and other background information 37:00 : Comments from others on Octavia Butler 48:15 : John compares/connects Butler to recent Erin Manning reading group discussion themes 55:20 : Dona discusses writing style of Parable of the Sower 59:01 : Mary’s Introduction 1:05:52 : Begin discussion of Sower (limited to first few chapters); relevance to current American trends; Butler as “master of extrapolation;” prophetic quality to text 1:10:01 : Katina’s Introduction + discussion of Infinite Conversations/Cosmos Collective and Gebser Reading Group 1:22:58 : Continue discussion of prophecy; “what is prophecy for?” 1:28:56 : Walter Bruggemann’s three qualities to prophetic voice 1:31:41 : Quotes from the text 1:35:47 : Suggestion to supplement video conversation with comments on the Infinite Conversations website. 1:37:36 : Butler’s use of Christian themes. Is Christianity insufficient? What is Butler saying about religion? How did Christianity contribute to Sower’s (and America’s) society? 1:53:30 : The minority groups and Christianity’s failure to support; Jesus’ parables; Christ as a performance artist; "Where are we supposed to go?!
About Octavia Butler : "Octavia Butler passed away on February 24th, 2006 at the age of only 58, leaving behind a body of work whose influence cannot be exaggerated. Butler was a Black, female genre writer at a time when science fiction was still seen by many as the territory of white men. Her writing centered on women of color in a way few narratives then did, and posited that empathy could be humanity’s saving grace. As today’s environmental and human rights crises make painfully clear, Butler’s work is only going to become more relevant and necessary as time goes on. " - Carolyn Cox, The Portalist, 2018, URL : https://theportalist.com/octavia-butler-facts
All are welcome, but please sign up to Infinite Conversations/Metapsychosis if you have not already done so.
All sessions will occur 10 AM- 12PM MDT; 12 PM - 2 PM EDT
In your timezone: 4:00:00 PM → 6:00:00 PM
NOTE THE UPDATED THE SCHEDULE!!!
Week 8 (Sept. 26th): Parable of the Talents - Ch. 13-21 + Epilogue
Week 11 (Oct. 17th): Parable of the Talents - Wrap-up
(skipped the 10th week because of the Gebser conference)
For more information about Butler and her books, refer back to the announcement thread..