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Reviewing Blindness in French Fiction, 1789-2013 (Hardcover) (Hannah Thompson)
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This book argues that the most interesting depictions of blindness in French fiction are those which call into question and ultimately undermine the prevailing myths and stereotypes of blindness which dominate Western thought. Rather than seeing blindness as an affliction, a tragedy or even a fate worse than death, the authors examined in this study celebrate blindness for its own sake. For them it is a powerful artistic and creative force which offers new and surprising ways of describing, and relating to, reality. Canonical and lesser-known novels from a range of genres, including the roman noir, science fiction, auto-fiction and realism are analyzed in detail to show how the presence of blind characters invites the reader to abandon his or her traditional reliance on the sense of sight and engage with the world in sensual, and hitherto unexpected, ways. This book challenges everything we thought we knew about blindness and invites us to revel in the pleasures and perils of reading blind.