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New PDF release: A Man Without Words

By Susan Schaller

ISBN-10: 0520274911

ISBN-13: 9780520274914

For greater than 1 / 4 of a century, Ildefonso, a Mexican Indian, lived in overall isolation, set except the remainder of the area. He wasn't a political prisoner or a social recluse, he was once easily born deaf and had by no means been taught even the main easy language. Susan Schaller, then a twenty-four-year-old graduate scholar, encountered him in a category for the deaf the place she were despatched as an interpreter and the place he sat remoted, seeing that he knew no signal language. She discovered him evidently clever and sharply observant yet not able to speak, and he or she felt pressured to convey him to a comprehension of phrases. The e-book vividly conveys the problem, the frustrations, and the excitement of starting the brain of a congenitally deaf individual to the idea that of language. This moment version features a new bankruptcy and afterword.

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Extra info for A Man Without Words

Example text

With sudden inspiration, I jumped out of my chair, found a piece of paper, and laid it in front of him. I signed "tree," mimed drawing, and gave him an encouraging nod. He signed "tree," mimed drawing with his pencil on the paper, gave me an encouraging nod, and put his pencil down. I signed "tree," again. " I signed/mimed a leaf falling from the tree, which I picked up and offered to him. He repeated my moves. Frustrated, I didn't risk a third try. Elena had mentioned numbers. I took the paper and wrote: 1 2 3 .

I had run back from Mary Ann hoping to express my excitement over his new knowledge of personal names, especially his own new name. His dwarfed signs and self-absorption checked me. I was somehow frightened of this somber, stiff man as I watched his mechanical repetitions. He couldn't see me, he was looking into some private corner. How was I to build on the previous day's breakthrough? What did Ildefonso's experience mean? I was no longer sure. What did he understand exactly? What should I do next?

I began to give him the words he wanted. I wrote a bigger and clearer cat and handed him the paper. He lowered his head and studied its form, clenched his jaw, leaning rigidly forward and uncrossing his ankles so he could set his feet flat on the floor. He was preparing for this new work like a sprinter at the starting line. He tried to copy cat, but the resulting scrawl was illegible. I walked behind him to guide his hand for a second cat. His hand, a fisted knot gripping the pencil, felt like a rock.

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A Man Without Words by Susan Schaller


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