Transcript: Octavia Butler's conversation with Delany at MIT

Henry Jenkins of MIT's Comparative Media Studies program has posted a bunch of Octavia Butler related material in Ms Butler's memory. Octavia Butler was the first widely read African American woman science fiction writer, and her works wrapped up complex treatments of gender and race in palatable, fast-paced sf stories. She died on Saturday following a fall, leaving many of us shocked and saddened for the loss of one of literature's strongest, bravest, most inspiring voices.

Jenkins has posted the transcript of two of Butler's appearances at MIT, one a solo act, the other a conversation with novelist Samuel Delany, as well as a sharp essay Jenkins wrote following her visit.

Butler: I don't have access to this kind of thing on computer but, oddly enough, what you're talking about sounds very much like the way I start looking for ideas when I'm not working on anything. Or when I'm just letting myself drift, relax.

I generally have four or five books open around the house–I live alone; I can do this–and they are not books on the same subject. They don't relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another. And I like this effect. I also listen to audio-books, and I'll go out for my morning walk with tapes from two very different audio-books, and let those ideas bounce off each other, simmer, reproduce in some odd way, so that I come up with ideas that I might not have come up with if I had simply stuck to one book until I was done with it and then gone and picked up another.

So, I guess, in that way, I'm using a kind of primitive hypertext.


(Thanks, Henry!)