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 e-book Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller, an creative exam of the lifetime of this well known foreign determine utilizing 21st-century sensibilities. Kleege’s absorption with Keller originated as an offended reaction to the suitable of a mundane saint, which no genuine blind or deaf individual may possibly ever emulate. even though, her research into the true individual published even more complicated set of characters and situations formed Keller’s life.
Blind Rage employs an adroit kind of artistic nonfiction to check the severe junctures in Keller’s existence. the easy proof approximately Helen Keller are recognized: how Anne Sullivan taught her deaf-blind scholar to speak and examine; her remarkable profession as a Radcliffe graduate and writer; her numerous public appearances in a number of venues, from cinema to vaudeville, to campaigns for the yankee starting place for the Blind. yet Kleege delves less than the outside to question the perfection of this photograph. throughout the equipment of her letters, she demanding situations Keller to bare her real feelings, the genuine nature of her lengthy courting with Sullivan, with Sullivan’s husband, and her short engagement to Peter Fagan. Kleege’s ingenious dramatization, exceptional through her depiction of Keller’s command of summary sensations, progressively shifts in point of view 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 technique to dwell regardless of the constraints 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
He admired her spirit even when it got in his own way. He never forgot how she first came to Perkins at the age of fourteen, blind, orphaned, destitute, rescued from the almshouse at Tewksbury by one of the Institution’s benefactors. It made him lenient and protective. When he chose her to go to Tuscumbia and be your Teacher, others objected. Some complained that her own education was too inadequate to qualify her. Others even alleged she received special consideration only because she was so exceptionally pretty.
What was the question? How do you know but not remember? What a question. It amazes me that you don’t call them on it. You know a lot of things you don’t remember. You know you were born, but you don’t remember that. You know that when you were eighteen months old, you got a fever and that when it passed you were deaf and blind, but you don’t remember that either. Is that in question now too? How are you supposed to know how you know what you know and how you remember what you remember? You’re eleven years old.
I try to imagine him, Mr. Anagnos, your special friend. There he sits at the center of the long tribunal table, Director of the Perkins Institution, the man in charge. The only man present, in fact. He is a distinguished-looking man. He is mostly bald, and his full beard is carefully trimmed, cut square around the chin. His correct, somber suit is conservatively tailored. His linen is immaculate. His hands are immaculate. His bearing is at once aristocratic and kindly. He cannot like what’s happening here today.