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Reviews rative where silence, solitude, and innocent imaginings conspire miraculously to deliverBoal ajoyous anagnorisis: the human spirit can never be imprisoned; there are no walls within. In this expanded narrative space, Boal's memoried text is eclipsed by the immanent force of living words. Like Auden's Yeats, whom mad Ireland hurt into poetry, Boal chants with liberty through the remembered walls of his oppressors and the formal limitations of literature. Does Hamlet and the Baker's Son contribute, as Talia Rodgers hoped it would, to a better understanding of Boal's theatre? Yes. With patience, it is possible to extract from Boal's tuberous anecdotes the vital essence of his poetics, the exuberant seriousness of his large spirit, and to discern in the ecology of his art and politics a vocabulary rooted in lambent, contradictory experience : that of a boy who learned directing by practising on a pet goat; of a man who, in solitary confinement, fonned an affectionate relationship with a mouse; of the artist whose colleagues, in fear and daring, sometimes went on stage armed. The clear and fluid translation by Adrian Iackson and Candida Blaker is improved by the inclusion of helpful editorial notes and marred by only a few copy-editing errors and lacunae. The glossy design of the Routledge paperback edition attempts to replicate the quality of montage observed in the text, a variety of fonts, ink values, and pictorial overlays keeping the eye busy and the ear attuned to Boal's triumphant descant: "The word is a living being" (294). SUSAN CRUTCHFIELD and MARCY EPSTEIN, eds. Points of Contact: Disability, Art, alld Cullllre. Corporealities: Discourses of Disability Series. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000. Pp. 297, illustrated. $18.95 (Pb). Reviewed by Alln M. Fox, Davidson College Freak or object of pity? Sideshow attraction or poster child? These polarities of identity frequently underlie the configuration of disabled individuals in contemporary society as objects of the stare. According to disability studies scholar Rosemarie Garland Thomson, in her study Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature (1997), this stare can be likened to the spectatorial gaze that objectifies women. Whether labeling the subject innocent or infamous, the non-disabled viewer contains the disabled individual within the scope of the stare and the key assumption about disability directing it: that the disabled person is the "to-be-looked-at." By inscribing this fiction and others onto the body of the disabled subject, the non-disabled onlooker can displace the larger, more unwieldy truth about the body's essentially fragmentary nature. As we see from Thomson's simultaneous adaptation and invigoration of Laura Mulvey's feminist critique of REVIEWS spectatorship, disability studies engages other areas of critical inquiry, both drawing on their precepts and extending them outward. Susan Crutchfield and Marcy Epstein's anthology Points of COlllaet: Disability , Art, alld Culture operates similarly: its authors reverse the stare, refuse passivity and containment, and communicate back to disabled and nondisabled cultures alike. Unlike those in Kenny Fries's earlier, excellent anthology of disability writing, Staring Back: Disability Cultllre from the Inside Out ([997), the works of poetry, fiction , essay, memoir, and criticism within this volume are not arranged by genre; intermingled, they form .a critical conversation on disability identity and disability art both among themselves and with the reader. Not surprisingly, dialogue as a narrative structure and a symbolic trope permeates many of the works, including the essay "Postcards to Sophie Calle," in which Joseph Grigley investigates the dangers of privileging voyeurism and sight in an artwork featuring blind persons (Les Avellgles) through an imagined correspondence with the artist herself; Eli Clare's poem "To the Curious People Who Ask, 'What Do Your Tremors Feel Like?'''; Georgina Kleege's excerpted novel Letters to Helen IKelier/; and the mother/daughter essay by Ann Ruggles Gere and Cynthia Margaret Gere that moves between their voices as they discuss "Living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAS/FAE)." Many of these works, like the volume that contains them, initiate dialogue about documenting the history of disability culture and understanding the lived experience of all kinds of disability. One might reasonably expect that, in the process of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5286
Print ISSN
0026-7694
Pages
pp. 481-484
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
N
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