Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Sun Mar 4 22:16:37 MST 2001

David Carroll wrote:
>  I was intrigued: why does Butler make you wary?  I am familiar with
> complaints about her writing, which she has admitted can be a painful
> experience, but I don't see anyone complaining about the often extremely
> difficult writing of political economists.  Is it something else?  I ask
> this because I've recently read one of her books, and while it took me time
> I thought her arguments sound, and practical.

How so? My familiarity with her is confined mostly to _Bodies That
Matter_ , which I read and reread with considerable care, and my
response was mostly that of Samuel Johnson to a book he was reviewing: I
found much that was new and much that was true, but that which was true
was not new and that which was new was not true. And while I do not
object to difficult prose on principle (for example I find Whitehead's
_Process and Reality_, not to speak of Marx's _Grundrisse_, quite
impressive), my feeling in respect to Butler's 'difficulty' was mostly
that it served to make the commonplace seem new. I would be interested
in an instance or two of what you see as her sound arguments.


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