Monday, October 17, 2011

The World I Live In by Helen Keller

If you have an Amazon Kindle, or a Kindle App, The World I Live In is available for free here: The World I Live In. If you have some other kind of E-reader do your thing, whatever that may be, because I have a Kindle so that's all I understand.

What I'm trying to say it's available online, for free. It's sitting out there waiting for you to find it in its free-ness.

And you should absolutely find it. Find it now.

My experiences with the Helen Keller story are like everyone else's: you read a story in elementary school about how deaf and blind Helen learned to speak and went to college because of her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Then a little while later you see one version or another of The Miracle Worker because every few years, without fail, The Miracle Worker comes on TV and you're like, "Oh, yeah, I remember that Helen Keller thing..." And between those experiences you hear the jokes about rearranging the furniture and "reading" the waffle iron. Then later on you discover Apples to Apples and learn that a (more or less) properly played "Helen Keller" card is an instant win because it's pretty freaking hilarious every time. In fact, you can even Like it on Facebook: "Apples to Apples: The Helen Keller Card"

People make offhand Helen Keller jokes all the time, but their thoughts never seem to go much deeper than "Being deaf and blind would suck a lot." I myself never really thought that long about it even though I had my mother rent The Miracle Worker every week for months. But I never really thought about it.

Maybe it's because I never had to-- that I was never faced with it on an everyday basis. Or maybe I did think about it as in-depth-ly as my 8 year-old brain could go and when my questions went unanswered they dissipated.

In any event, while reading The World I Live In, I was continually surprised by the little things that never occurred to me and I found myself saying, "Oh, yeah! How does she do/experience that? What's that like?"

Helen takes us through her world in 15 chapters and explains how her world compares to ours in day to day life- speaking, reading, writing, and her life before Annie Sullivan.

Then, in Chapter 15, Helen lets loose a rhapsodic torrent of ethereal beauty. Chapter 15, "A Waking Dream", weaves history, literature, and fantasy into a veritable tapestry of...of...of...beauticiousness. I sincerely want Herbert to come over and read "A Waking Dream" to me while I drift off to sleep. I loved this chapter. I think it was included to show that her imagination is just as good as-- if not better than-- the average person's, and it is. It's most certainly better than mine; my actual dreams are only half as good and that's only because of the drugs I'm on, and she's talking about a daydream. That's serious creativity.

The World I Live In is a quick, pretty, and interesting read, and absolutely worth it.

5 stars

See Blauthor, Blauthor! for more of my reviews!

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