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The stunning debut of Jonathan Rée, the Simon Schama of philosophy. ‘I See A Voice is a joy to read: bold, crisp in style, effortlessly erudite, slyly humorous, passionate and humane.’ Roy Porter, Independent
‘Rée writes with such clarity and elegance that his prose is a pleasure to read. His exploration of the world of the deaf demonstrates that their tragic deprivation of one sense illumines our understanding of the others. His study of sign language gives us unparalleled insight into the nature of spoken language... this book is not only a fascinating history of the belated correction of our misperceptions of the deaf, but a demonstration that philosophy really can advance our understanding of the world and ourselves.’ Anthony Storr, Literary Review
‘Some philosophers take difficulty and try to make it simple, but Rée takes what is apparently mundane and undeniably everyday and makes it hard and wonderful. Reading his book, I had to sit at a table, with a pen and notebook, jotting down things I had never thought about before – asking myself how it was that I had lived with this commonsense all my life, yet never been in possession of its meanings... Rée treats philosophy the way Adam Phillips treats psychoanalysis: he scrutinises the everyday and the commonplace and charges them with significance. Psychoanalysis and the writings of Freud flood into his text, along with the poetry of Wordsworth, the writings of Proust, his own poignant memories of things past. The melancholy richness of his writing soaks up the culture of the late twentieth century: its emphasis on subjectivity and uncertainity; its sense of the individual; its receptivity to other forms; its confessionalism and belief in self scrutiny... in his passionate, fascinating philosophical history of language, deafness and the senses.’ Nicci Gerrard, ObserverContraportada:
'An unquestionable triumph... Ree writes beautifully, orchestrating a scarcely credible range of historical, philosophical and literary references into a narrative that fairly jumps off the page.'
'Some philosophers take difficulty and try to make it simple, but Ree takes what is apparently mundane and undeniably everyday and make it hard and wonderful. Rewriting the history of the treatment of the deaf, he scrutinises the everyday significance. Psychoanalysis and Freud's writings flood into his text, along with Wordsworth, Proust and his own poignant memories of things past. His writing's melancholy richness soaks up the culture of the late twentieth century: its emphasis on subjectivity and uncertainty; its sense of the individual; its receptivity to other forms; its confessionalism and belief in self scrutiny... in a passionate, philosophical history of language, deafness and the senses.'
NICCI GERRARD, 'Observer'
'A fascinating, original, deeply suggestive work, written with haunting power and beauty.'
BEN ROGERS, 'Financial Times'
'[Many stories, each] dazzling in its implications, entrancing in itself, sizzle through 'I See A Voice'. By the end, as well as knowing more about the history of deaf education, the reader will know why sign language is a real language, how dickens used to mark up his texts to give extraordinary readings, how historical etymology began, but more than this, the book transmits the intoxicating fever of philosophy, of wondering why along with everyone who has wondered why.'
VICTORIA NEUMARK, 'TES'
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