Cover image for The world I live in
The world I live in
Keller, Helen, 1880-1968.
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Publication Information:
New York : New York Review Books ; [Berkeley, Calif.?] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxxiii, 182 pages ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Century Co., 1908.
The seeing hand -- The hands of others -- The hand of the race -- The power of touch -- The finer vibrations -- Smell, the fallen angel -- Relative values of the senses -- The five-sensed world -- Inward visions -- Analogies in sense perception -- Before the soul dawn -- The larger sanctions -- The dream world -- Dreams and reality -- A waking dream -- A chant of darkness -- Optimism within -- Optimism without -- The practice of optimism -- My story.
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HV1624.K4 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Out of print for nearly a century, The World I Live In is Helen Keller's most personal and intellectually adventurous work - one that transforms our appreciation of her extraordinary achievements. Here this preternaturally gifted deaf and blind young woman closely describes her sensations and the workings of her imagination, while the provocative argument that the whole spectrum of the senses lies open to her through the medium of language. Standing in the line of the works of Emerson and Thoreau, The World I Live In is a profoundly suggestive exercise in self-invention, and a true, rediscovered classic of American literature. This new edition of The World I Live In also includes Helen Keller's early essay Optimism as well as her first published work, My Story , written when she was twelve.

Author Notes

Helen Keller (1880-1968) was born in northwest Alabama, with full sight and hearing. At nineteen months she suffered a mysterious illness that left her both blind and deaf and interrupted her speech development. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904, the first deaf-blind person to attend an institution of higher learning. In subsequent years, Helen Keller joined the Socialist Party and embarked on a career as a public lecturer. She has written several books, including, The Story of My Life and Teacher and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.

Roger Shattuck is the author of The Banquet Years, The Innocent Eye, Forbidden Knowledge- From Prometheus to Pornography, Candor and Perversion and Proust's Way .

Table of Contents

Introduction: "A World of Words"p. vii
Prefacep. 7
1 The Seeing Handp. 9
2 The Hands of Othersp. 16
3 The Hand of the Racep. 22
4 The Power of Touchp. 28
5 The Finer Vibrationsp. 36
6 Smell, the Fallen Angelp. 43
7 Relative Values of the Sensesp. 52
8 The Five-sensed Worldp. 56
9 Inward Visionsp. 61
10 Analogies in Sense Perceptionp. 67
11 Before the Soul Dawnp. 72
12 The Larger Sanctionsp. 77
13 The Dream Worldp. 85
14 Dreams and Realityp. 97
15 A Waking Dreamp. 103
A Chant of Darknessp. 113
Optimism: An Essay
Part I Optimism Withinp. 127
Part II Optimism Withoutp. 134
Part III The Practice of Optimismp. 148
My Storyp. 161
Notes and Sourcesp. 181