(1926-2016) French critic and author, principally known as a leading exponent of the nouveau roman. Butor was one of the first mainstream and academic critics to consider sf seriously according to the same standards as general literature. He published an invigorating analysis of Jules Verne as early as 1949, and examined the dilemmas and future potential of the field in his penetrating study, "La crise de croissance de la SF" (1953); this was first translated by Richard Howard as "Science Fiction: The Crisis of its Growth" for The Partisan Review in 1967, and, as "The Crisis in the Growth of Science Fiction", appeared along with "The Golden Age in Jules Verne" (trans Patricia Dreyfus for Repertoire, coll 1960) in Inventory (coll trans 1968). The translated "Crisis" essay, along with a vigorous response by James Blish, appears in SF: The Other Side of Realism (anth 1971) edited by Thomas D Clareson. Butor served on the jury panel of the French sf award the Prix Apollo (see Awards). [MJ/DRL]
see also: Critical and Historical Works About SF.
Michel Marie Francoise Butor
born Mons-en-Baro, Lille, France: 14 September 1926
died Contamine-sur-Arve, France: 24 August 2016
Previous versions of this entry