Thursday, November 23, 2006

Kate's reply

I thought it would be a good idea to post Kate's reply to my pathetic attempt to answer her question. Also after reading her answer I became somewhat interested in the book by Pierre Villey "The World of the Blind" (Le Monde des Aveugles). Kate did mention however that the book is from the 30's and it might be a bit hard to find... Anyway here are her comments:

Hi Victor,

Thanks very much for your reply. The story re: the roller coaster was fascinating. Sorry about the length of the article--I know Byatt doesn't mention proprioception, although it seems that she does, without using the exact term. Anyways, your mentioning of Victor Hugo was extremely interesting--I recently read parts of Pierre Villey's "The World of the Blind," and he makes special reference to Hugo being popular with blind readers. (He suggests, however, that the "muscular images" that Hugo depicts--for example, the increasing/diminishing of the concrete space surrounding the reader--are especially evocative).

I think the "map or description capacity" is very interesting, especially in regards to spatial representation. I am looking at Milton's "Paradise Lost" (Milton had late-onset blindness) and he does create mapping (on a cosmic level) in his poem. I wonder, though, if mapping could take place within specific images. For example, the initial appearance of Satan in Paradise Lost seems to "map out" muscular movements (that the reader could proprioceptively sense or image, perhaps?):

Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky
With hideous ruin and
combustion down
To bottomless perdition...
(I, 44-47)

To me this image is especially evocative in terms of the "muscular impression" it makes--especially by avoiding the visual--but I have full vision, and so am not sure.

Again, many thanks for your response!


1 comment:

Kate said...

Hi again,

I just wanted to say that your response wasn't "pathetic" at all--it was actually helpful in relating what Byatt said about "mapping" or graphing to the concept of proprioception. So thanks!