Richard Vytniorgu of the University of Leicester positions H.D. as a thinker and reads her autobiographical prose and recently published work of the 1940s in conversation with literary theorist, Louise Rosenblatt. The book, The Butterfly Hatch (Sussex, 2019), takes H.D.’s recurring imagery of butterflies as a metaphor for exploring wisdom, consciousness, and experience.
The book is a brilliant and urgent call for new interventions in both the study and teaching of literature. Vytniorgu, whose indebtedness to the theory and practice of Louise Rosenblatt is everywhere evident, promises readers greater self-knowledge and enhanced understanding of some of the central existential issues of life. The book upends most established approaches to both the study and teaching of literature, especially those that remove the person from readings of texts and ignore crucial concepts such as wisdom. The Butterfly Hatch is an indispensible work, therefore, for educators, students, and nonprofessional readers interested in learning about themselves and the world from their encounters with literature.Elizabeth A. Flynn, Professor Emerita, Michigan Tech University