By Georgina Kleege
As a tender blind lady, Georgina Kleege many times heard the chorus, “Why can’t you be extra like Helen Keller?” Kleege’s resentment culminates in her e-book Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller, an inventive exam of the lifetime of this well known foreign determine utilizing 21st-century sensibilities. Kleege’s absorption with Keller originated as an indignant reaction to the proper of a mundane saint, which no actual blind or deaf individual may perhaps ever emulate. notwithstanding, her research into the true individual published even more advanced set of characters and situations formed Keller’s life.
Blind Rage employs an adroit type of artistic nonfiction to study the serious junctures in Keller’s lifestyles. the straightforward proof approximately Helen Keller are famous: how Anne Sullivan taught her deaf-blind student to speak and study; her remarkable profession as a Radcliffe graduate and writer; her numerous public appearances in quite a few venues, from cinema to vaudeville, to campaigns for the yankee starting place for the Blind. yet Kleege delves less than the outside to query the perfection of this snapshot. throughout the equipment of her letters, she demanding situations Keller to bare her real feelings, the true nature of her lengthy dating with Sullivan, with Sullivan’s husband, and her short engagement to Peter Fagan. Kleege’s innovative dramatization, exotic by way of her depiction of Keller’s command of summary sensations, progressively shifts in viewpoint from anger to admiration. Blind Rage criticizes the Helen Keller fable for prolonging an unrealistic version for blind humans, but it appreciates the person who came across a realistic approach to dwell regardless of the limitations of her myth.
Georgina Kleege is Assistant Professor of English, collage of California, Berkeley, CA.
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Additional info for Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller
I thought it was something I was supposed to do. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that. But also, children learn by copying. Copying is encouraged in certain pedagogical contexts. I’m in the office at the moment and could pull seven or eight college English textbooks off my shelf, which contain sample essays for students to imitate. If you weren’t so busy with other things, I could scan one into the computer so you could read it for yourself. Of course, the authors of those books assume college students understand that they are supposed to emulate the form of the samples, not the content.
This is what I see. What I sense is that this body is dressed up to look like something it’s not. I sense a conspiracy to commit this pretense, to perpetrate a joke, mostly at the body’s expense. And the masquerade makes it grotesque, ludicrous, like a cat wearing baby clothes. Then the body moves. It shuffles forward on unnaturally small, sliding steps. It lifts one arm, limp-wristed, pinky raised. ) Then the whole body bobs down and up abruptly. It’s doing a curtsy. The daintiness of these movements makes it seem all the more hulking and ungainly.
They do not rise into your brain. Miss Lawson touches your arm. ” Then you say, “Back then, I didn’t know as many words as I know now. The things I could name were things I could touch. ” You lift your free hand to point overhead, then drop it, not wanting them to think you don’t know there are no clouds indoors. You say, “When people read books to me…” You say “people” because it was not just Teacher. It was your mother. It was Mrs. Hopkins. “When people read to me, I did not always understand every word.
Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller by Georgina Kleege