Marianne Shaneen

The Peekaboo Theory

Helen Keller begins her memoirs, It is with a kind of fear
that I begin to write the history of my life. I have, as it
were, a superstitious hesitation in lifting the veil.

each letter to you, a similar fear. every word inked to you
gives our separation a reality it otherwise could never have
had, as if whatever I write, regardless of the actual
events, will become real.
fear of lifting the veil but each disclosure is also a
veiling. recovering covers it up again. remembering cuts it
into pieces again.

love letters between cleave and cleaver

Nearly every impression she receives comes first through the
medium of language.
describing, inscribing that unwrites
itself. in her letters she 'describes': The hills in
Virginia were very lovely. The view was most charmingly
picturesque. what became of her lived and remembered
sensations, if that was her language for describing them?

she called herself sightless but she could have made the


To see is to behold

Two months after the operation to restore his sight, they
led him to a glass case that had a lathe inside. Though he
had used a lathe many times when he was blind, he was unable
to identify it. They opened the case and he ran his hands
eagerly over it with his eyes tightly shut. Then he stood
back, opened his eyes and said: Its a lathe. Now that I've
felt it I can see it.