[bksvol-discuss] Fwd: Fw: Book Review: EAVESDROPPING: A Memoir of Blindness andListening

  • From: Grandma Cindy <popularplace@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2006 15:55:28 -0800 (PST)

This sounds like an interesting and readable book. Is
anyone scanning it?


--- Louise <bookscanner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: "Louise" <bookscanner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: "Louise Gourdoux" <bookscanner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: Fw: Book Review: EAVESDROPPING: A Memoir of
> Blindness andListening
> Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2006 07:03:08 -0600
> Charlotte Observer, NC, USA
> Saturday, December 16, 2006
> Book Review: EAVESDROPPING: A Memoir of Blindness
> and Listening
> By ANN FOX, Special to the Observer
> The world turns on his ear
> He learns to embrace his blindness and live a rich
> life through sound
> EAVESDROPPING: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening
> By Stephen Kuusisto. W.W. Norton. 187 pages. $23.95.
> Stephen Kuusisto's 1998 memoir, "Planet of the
> Blind," tells the story of a
> man growing into his blindness as an identity, thus
> refusing to associate
> visual impairment with tragedy. Many of his life's
> difficulties, the book
> suggests, came not from blindness itself, but from
> the attempts to hide or
> deny it. When Kuusisto embraces blindness, a move
> signaled by his
> acquisition of a seeing-eye dog, the world opens up
> to him.
> Kuusisto's second and equally lovely memoir,
> "Eavesdropping: A Memoir of
> Blindness and Listening," returns in some ways to
> core ideas from the first
> memoir: his isolation growing up, his ultimate
> refusal to let others read
> his blindness as pitiable and his pleasure in
> discovering the world around
> him through blindness. Kuusisto is a poet and music
> aficionado; with
> accordant skill and poetry, he improvises further on
> those ideas.
> "Eavesdropping" is also subtitled "A Life by Ear,"
> and it is this idea that
> is at the heart of the book. For Kuusisto, this
> means the great pleasure of
> listening actively to even the smallest things, not
> just to compensate for
> his blindness but also to imagine the world around
> him.
> "Blind people are not casual eavesdroppers," he
> writes. "We have method. As
> things happen around us we reinvent what we hear
> like courtroom artists who
> sketch as fast as they can."
> Divided into 29 vignettes placed in settings as
> disparate as Iceland,
> Venice, and Columbus, Ohio, the book is at once a
> rich soundscape and a
> collage. Its first half re-creates Kuusisto's early
> listening experiences
> (including his discovery of music); the second half
> shows Kuusisto as a
> blind man, traveling the world and experiencing it
> through sounds both
> ridiculous and sublime. And seeing it through the
> eyes of a sighted person
> when necessary, he observes, is no tragedy: "We
> train all our days in the
> geometry of self so as not to get lost. Why not get
> lost in someone else's
> wonder?"
> As they join Kuusisto in "ear travel," readers who
> are not blind learn how
> to slow down and fire their imaginations by
> attending to those sensory
> experiences they might otherwise ignore by
> privileging sight: "The ordinary
> street was as weird and lovely as the mind itself.
> All one had to do was
> stop."
> Ann Fox teaches at Davidson College. Her interests
> include disability
> studies in literature.
> -- 
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> Release Date: 12/16/2006

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