As I sat watching the documentary on Butler and why reading the articles and the pervious blogs, I cannot help but wonder about our desire to know the author. I mean, I get--we want to connect, to understand, to complicate, to judge, to humanize, etc... I hesitate to think i one second that by understanding Butler's background and her being a 'troublemaker' that I will be able to understand or connect to her readings any better than I have before. Do I need to know who she is to legitimize my understanding of her work? And can an okay documentary really explain who Butler is?
One thing is for certain, by removing the mystical vail of authorship from the text does allow for me to demystify Butler. In my experience Butler has been lifted to this place of god-like proportions in academia. Do not misunderstand me, she is and has been one of the leading thinkers in gender and queer theory--she deserves much respect. The film exposes that she is like many of us--trying to make sense of the world around us and how do I/we fit into or out of it.
Butler, like all of us, has a story that has brought her to where she is. It isn't linear and it ebbs and flows. Will this understanding lend to a more amazing reading of her? I do not think so. Why should it? That knowing has always been there... that we are all trying to figure it out. I am just hoping she quickens the process for me! :-)