“Language in Dissolution” and “A World without Words”
This epilogue offers a reading of Roman Jakobson's 1956 essay “Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances,” and David Goode's 1994 novel A World without Words: The Social Construction of Children Born Deaf and Blind. To read and think about these texts is to rehearse the themes and arguments of this text. Taking them together reveals how figures with impaired language or cognition are placed in texts, generate speculation on impairment, on language as such, particularly on tropes, on subjectivity as linguistic or non-linguistic. The works also show how the figures of the cognitive and linguistic impaired serve also as indices pointing back toward those actual people with cognitive or linguistic impairments and so are obliged to think of the social and ethical conditions of their lives, their material and social needs, their potentials for agency, and their requirements for care.
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