On Wednesday 31 August, the Sister Reading Group in Toronto will continue with the fourth session of their ongoing Reading Group, which is currently focused on If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution’s research field of Edition VI – Event and Duration (2015–2016). The Toronto Reading Group is organized by Jacob Korczynski and for this Edition is hosted by 8-11.
For its fourth meeting, the Toronto Reading Group will continue its discussion of event and duration in relation to the speculative futures of science fiction. It will do this through a collective reading and discussion of Octavia Butler's 1983 short story Speech Sounds.
First made public the same year as the film Born in Flames (which anchored the group’s conversation in the previous month), Speech Sounds envisions a world in the near future rendered silent:
“The illness, if it was an illness, had cut even the living off from one another. As it swept over the country, people hardly had time to lay blame on the Soviets (though they were falling silent along with the rest of the world), on a new virus, a new pollutant, radiation, divine retribution...The illness was stroke-swift in the way it cut people down and stroke-like in some of its effects. But it was highly specific. Language was always lost or severely impaired. It was never regained. Often there was also paralysis, intellectual impairment, death."
The text will be made available to participants on the night of the event, which will be set to the backdrop of a bonfire.