1st Edition

Blind Narrations and Artistic Subjectivities Corporeal Refractions

By Aravinda Bhat Copyright 2023
    208 Pages
    by Routledge India

    Blind Narrations and Artistic Subjectivities: Corporeal Refractions makes an important contribution to the field of blindness studies by highlighting the centrality of blindness in literary compositions. It presents a critical interpretation of selected prose writings by three blind authors: Argentine poet, short story writer, and essayist Jorge Luis Borges; Australian religious educator and diarist John M. Hull; and the American memoirist and poet Stephen Kuusisto.

    The volume discusses themes like

    • theorising the corporeality of writing
    • aesthetic turn to the experience of blindness
    • altered sensation and self-understanding
    • lived experience of growing blind
    • self-knowledge through interaction with the world
    • artistic subjectivity, narrative choices, and the ‘implied’ author

    This book will be useful for scholars and researchers of blindness studies, disability studies, arts and aesthetics, literature, cultural studies, and philosophy.

    Acknowledgements ix

    Foreword xii

    1 Introduction: Theorising the Corporeality of Writing 1

    1.1 Introduction 1

    1.2 Narrative Choices, Bodily Condition, and Artistic

    Subjectivity 2

    1.3 Contribution to Scholarly Conversation 5

    1.4 Theoretical Approaches and Concepts 9

    1.5 The Research Claim and Chapter Summaries 21

    2 Blindness in Borges’s Fictions 25

    2.1 The Metaphorical Articulation of Blindness 28

    2.2 The Dialectic of the Ideal and the Experiential 34

    2.3 The Aesthetic Turn to the Experience of Blindness 47

    3 Altered Sensation and Self-understanding in

    Borges’s Fictions 60

    3.1 Durée and Intuition 62

    3.2 Disabled Characters and Variations in Subjective

    Time 63

    3.3 Memory, Cyclical Time, and Creativity 73

    4 The Everyday Experience of Growing Blind:

    Narrative Subjectivity in Hull 80

    4.1 The Narrative Form of the Diaries 81

    4.2 Life and (Diary) Text 86

    4.3 Dreaming and Waking Life 88

    4.4 The Self-Constitutive Power of Archetypes 108

    viii Contents

    5 Self-Knowledge through Interaction with the World 114

    5.1 Knowing the Body, Knowing the Self 119

    5.2 Social Interaction and Self-Knowledge 129

    6 The Poetical Subjectivity of Kuusisto 134

    6.1 Being Bound with the Minute Threads of

    Normalcy 135

    6.2 Boyhood and Adolescence 137

    6.3 Struggles with Normativity: The Adult Years 149

    7 The Narrative Dialectic of Silences and Articulations

    in the Memoirs of Kuusisto 153

    7.1 Questions and Answers Regarding Blindness 153

    7.2 The Aesthetic of Listening 154

    7.3 The Narrative Dialectic in Kuusisto’s Memoirs 161

    8 Artistic Subjectivity, Narrative Choices, and the Author:

    Their Relation as a Function of Bodily Being 171

    8.1 Subjectivity through the Alter Ego, Voice, and

    Perspective in Borges 173

    8.2 Reflecting on Experience: Narrative Form in Diary and

    Memoir 178

    Afterword 181

    Works Cited 184



    Aravinda Bhat is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Languages, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India. He holds a PhD in English Literature from The English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad, India. He teaches European literatures in translation, the intellectual history of Europe, research practices, critical thinking, creative writing, and German. His research interests include literature by blind and visually impaired authors, Disability Studies, philosophy, and the novel. Through his work, he indulges his love of books.