By (author) Georgina Kleege
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Sight Unseen by Georgina Kleege
Book DescriptionBlind since the age of 11, Georgina Kleege draws on her own experiences to provide this account of visual impairment - both her own view of the world and the world's view of the blind. She addresses topics such as the negative status of the blind and how blindness is portrayed in literature.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300076806
(210mm x 140mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 5-May-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Georgina Kleege
Blind Rage, Paperback (September 2006)» View all books by Georgina Kleege
Kleege, a blind professor from UC Berkeley, reexamines the life of Helen Keller from a contemporary point of view with startling, refreshing results.
US Kirkus Review » Well-crafted essays on blindness and sightedness that clarify for the sighted not only what it's like to be blind but what it's like to be perceived as blind. "I am legally blind" is how the visually impaired Kleege introduces herself both to her writing class students and to her readers. At age 11 macular degeneration robbed her of a large measure of her central vision, but it did not prevent her from graduating magna cum laude from Yale or from pursuing a career as a writer and teacher of writing (at Ohio State University and the University of Oklahoma). She shares her personal story with telling anecdotes about her early attempts to appear sighted, about drawing for her artist father, of using her peripheral vision to view paintings in a museum, and of a visit to the home of Louis Braille to pay tribute to man who developed the reading and writing system that has given her a freedom that none of the new technologies for the blind could provide. The teacher in Kleege doesn't stop with personal anecdotes, however, for here her intent is clearly to instruct the sighted about what blindness means and what it doesn't mean. She analyzes how the blind have been portrayed on film (Scent of a Woman, Wait Until Dark, Places in the Heart, etc.) and in literature (Jane Eyre, The Light That Failed, Oedipus Rex, etc.), demonstrating how blindness has often been equated with a pitiful helplessness, loss of sexuality, and even as appropriate retribution for some monstrous crime. Her argument that filmmakers regard blindness as their worst nightmare and therefore treat the blind disparagingly fails to persuade, but her perplexed musings on what eye contact really means are intriguing, and her vivid descriptions of her own visual experiences are fascinating. Not always a comfortable read - there's a fair amount of irritation expressed here - but certainly an eye-opening one. (Kirkus Reviews)
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