Sunday, July 21, 2013

Idea Garage Sale: Redirect

So I'm going to be lazy this morning, but you'll thank me for it.

The blog Disability in Kidlit addresses subjects of vital literary interest, and in particular the recent post Discussion #3: What Would You Like to See More of? is chock-full of brilliance. Like for example, from S.E. Smith:
I don’t want to see the disability version of the whitewashed form of diversity sometimes seen with authors trying to write characters of colour where a one-off mention is made to a character being Black or Latina/o and it never comes up again, depriving characters of cultural context–I want to see a character’s disability mentioned and playing a role in the narrative, but not as its own character. (A wheelchair user who’s a hacker, for example, and gets frustrated with the stairs at the local hackerspace. A schizophrenic character who thinks her meds need adjustment when she really is seeing ghosts. A D/deaf or HoH teen witch who’s pissed about uncaptioned YouTube videos. Get imaginative!)

That bolded bit is brilliant!

Of course, you'd have to know quite a bit about schizophrenics and schizophrenia, and by that I don't just mean library research. Knowledge can be acquired. I've known a few schizophrenics, but not intimately. Enough to know that they can be annoying to be around, if they don't accept or understand their own condition, but that if they're on top of their illness, the accommodations others have to make around them are no more onerous than adjusting to someone with mobility problems: i.e., not onerous enough to make a fuss over. A writer with schizophrenia (Virginia Woolf was, remember, so don't try to tell me that having this condition is enough to disqualify one as a writer!), who works with mental and emotional conditions, or with a close family member with the condition would be in the best position to do so. But it's not impossible for a sufficiently dedicated researcher with no direct experience, yet. After all, a person with a disability is simply someone who doesn't mesh perfectly with the world around her - and who hasn't felt that way at least occasionally?

And it could be awesome.

And enlightening.

And completely mutilated in the blockbuster Hollywood movie adaptation; but of what awesome and enlightening work is this not true?

Anyway, you the reader or I the blogger may not be up to carrying out some of the specific ideas presented, but this should be enough to get you thinking. Because these are reasonable desires and the road to fulfillment is wide open. And creativity springs from limitation.

(And bookmark or follow that blog while you're about it.)

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