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Seeing Language in Sign The Work of William C. Stokoe (Jane Maher) (Z-Library)
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Page xi replies, "How nice for you and it is. I am there and here at the same moment, and there is often a trip abroad or a delightful-to-relive experience anytime these last 65 years. I have toyed with the possibility that subtle sense impressions are triggers. When the air is moist and fragrant with spring, or fall, vegetation (or in the shower, with the scent of Pears soap and damp curtain, I am back in England or Scotland in 195 3-4, 61, 68, 72, 77. . . . When the air is keener, I am back on a hillside of the washed-out 98 acres my father bought in 1925 and reforested, in a particular spot, looking, it maybe, at a devil's paintbrush or a red pine seedling that has a broken tip and a grouse dropping beside its gnarled stem.
But perhaps, Stokoe added, "links like that explain only a small part, if they do. Maybe like Walt Whitman I have learned how to loaf and invite my soul . . . I am infinitely richer for these reminiscences."
Luria's first letter tome, after a rather formal presentation of his own intellectual history, moved into a different mode and related an astonishing story of his meeting with Pavlov the old man (Pavlov was then in his eighties, looking like Moses, tore
Luria's first book in half, flung the fragments at his feet, and yelled "You call yourself a scientist" This startling episode was related by Luria with vividness and gusto in away that brought out its comic and terrible aspects equally. He clearly had an almost novelistic gift for narrative, equal and complementary to his great scientific giftsand this was evidently the case with
Stokoe, too. I found myself wondering, after Stokoe's first letter, whether these two gifts, or dispositions, served to split him,
distract him, or divide him, or whether they were somehow complementary, as they were with Luria.
One of the most moving chapters in Jane Maher's book brings to life and analyzes a most crucial period in Stokoe's life, the ten years following his arrival at Gallaudet. During this time he moved from being a teacher of English, an explicator of Chaucer, to becoming an explorer of the culture and language of deaf people, of their actual mode of communication.
Signing had been seen, up to this time, as a sort of pantomime

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