The Metanarrative of Blindness: A Re-reading of Twentieth-Century Anglophone Writing
Although the theme of blindness occurs frequently in literature, literary criticism has rarely engaged the experiential knowledge of people with visual impairments. The Metanarrative of Blindness counters this trend by bringing to readings of twentieth-century works in English a perspective appreciative of impairment and disability. Author David Bolt examines representations of blindness in more than forty literary works, including writing by Kipling, Joyce, Synge, Orwell, H. G. Wells, Susan Sontag, and Stephen King, shedding light on the deficiencies of these representations and sometimes revealing an uncomfortable resonance with the Anglo-American science of eugenics.
What connects these seemingly disparate works is what Bolt calls “the metanarrative of blindness,” a narrative steeped in mythology and with deep roots in Western culture. Bolt examines literary representations of blindness using the analytical tools of disability studies in both the humanities and social sciences. His readings are also broadly appreciative of personal, social, and cultural aspects of disability, with the aim of bringing literary scholars to the growing discipline of disability studies, and vice versa. This interdisciplinary monograph is relevant to people working in literary studies, disability studies, psychology, sociology, applied linguistics, life writing, and cultural studies, as well as those with a general interest in education and representations of blindness.
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Normate Reductionaism and Nominal Displacement
Ophthalmocentrism Ocularcentrism and Sumbolic Castration
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Alrerity Avoidance and Constructs of Contagiousness
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ableist according and/or gaze antilocution assertion assumption becomes Bertie binary blind characters blindness-castration synonymy Carver’s castration connotations Conrad’s dark Diddy disability community disability studies dream eugenic example experiential knowledge explored eye symbolism fear Friel’s fucking Garland-Thomson gazer Gertrude Gide’s groping blind figure haptic Hester hypersexuality illustrated implication implicit infantilization informed invokes Kelman Kipling’s Kleege Kuusisto La Symphonie Pastorale Langoliers Lawrence’s The Blind look Madehurst man’s Masen masturbation means metanarrative of blindness metaphor Molly Molly Sweeney motif narrative narrator narrator’s ness nominal displacement normate reductionism normate subject position Norton’s notion novel ocularcentric ocularnormative ocularnormativism ofthe ophthalmocentric Persistence of Vision person present book problematic Prosthesis radical social model reductionism reference rendering resonates Saints Sammy Saramago’s Blindness sexual sighted characters sighted counterparts someone Sontag’s stare story suicide Synge’s synonymy terminology Thomson’s Timmy tion touch Triffids underpinned unseen gaze Varley’s visual impairments visual perception woman word blind