By Georgina Kleege
As a tender blind woman, Georgina Kleege again and again heard the chorus, “Why can’t you be extra like Helen Keller?” Kleege’s resentment culminates in her publication 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 appropriate of a mundane saint, which no actual blind or deaf individual may ever emulate. even if, her research into the true individual printed even more complicated set of characters and conditions formed Keller’s life.
Blind Rage employs an adroit kind of inventive nonfiction to study the severe junctures in Keller’s lifestyles. the straightforward evidence approximately Helen Keller are famous: how Anne Sullivan taught her deaf-blind scholar to speak and study; her awesome occupation as a Radcliffe graduate and writer; her numerous public appearances in a number of venues, from cinema to vaudeville, to campaigns for the yankee beginning for the Blind. yet Kleege delves lower than the outside to question the perfection of this picture. during the machine of her letters, she demanding situations Keller to bare her real feelings, the genuine nature of her lengthy dating with Sullivan, with Sullivan’s husband, and her short engagement to Peter Fagan. Kleege’s ingenious dramatization, individual via her depiction of Keller’s command of summary sensations, steadily shifts in viewpoint from anger to admiration. Blind Rage criticizes the Helen Keller fantasy for prolonging an unrealistic version for blind humans, but it appreciates the person who discovered a realistic technique 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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Extra info for Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller
It is a solemn occasion. Show respect. Black shows respect. People in Boston show respect by looking solemn. You pull the corners of your mouth back to level, and close your lips over your teeth. Slowly, solemnly, not in any way that could be construed as fidgety, you raise your hand and lift the stray curl back behind your shoulder. Miss Lawson says, “Mr. ” You say, “It was this past autumn. I wrote it at my home in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Actually, I wrote it at Fern Quarry, about fourteen miles from Tuscumbia, where my family has a summer home.
You straighten your lips again. You lift your chin. “I can’t remember reading it before last week, but I know that it happened,” you say. Your mouth twitches—almost a smile. ” This may be wrong, Helen. This may be me putting words in your mouth, your hands. It’s the sort of thing I’d say. Cut through the pretense. Make them call you a liar, since that’s what they’re there to prove. That’s me—the hostile witness. You, Helen, would be more compliant. You may even believe they want to believe you.
They have a certain quality. He likes to see them walking the hallways in little groups, a line of three or four girls, trailing their hands along the wall to guide them. They seem so dainty and graceful, like little dancers. There’s something ethereal and otherworldly about them. They can be quite pretty, perhaps because they are so guileless and unaffected. He enjoys complimenting them. ” And they’ll curtsy and giggle behind their hands, pleased to have pleased him, but utterly without pride or vanity.