Read e-book online A Very Capable Life: The Autobiography of Zarah Petri PDF


By John Leigh Walters

Written in his mother's precise voice, John Leigh Walters pushes the limits of memoir in a really able existence, the extreme trip of a likely usual woman.

Zarah Petri used to be a toddler while her relations left Hungary to set up a brand new lifestyles in Canada within the Twenties. With braveness and innovation, Zarah and her relations survived the Depression--even if it intended breaking the legislations to take action. In celebrating Zarah Petri, a truly able lifestyles will pay homage to all "ordinary" ladies of the early 20th century who challenged society's conventions for the sake of survival.

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As the mate‑ riality of the body engages the corporeality of materials, tools, and objects through art making, manifold sensations, associations, and understandings extend one to and through the other prosthetically. In doing so, the sensate embodiment of art precedes and enables understanding embodiment across bodies, disciplines, and cultures. The theories of Merleau‑Ponty, Massumi, Lyotard, Hayles, Dewey, and other scholars will be invoked to support my conceptualization of prosthetic that connects the flesh of the body and the flesh of the world felt in the body through art research and practice.

It is this troubling, incompatibility of prosthesis, which advocates pros‑ thetic pedagogy, an embodied form of art research and teaching that challeng‑ es and resists both the disabling stereotypes and stigmas of the amputated as dysfunctional, and the fear and loathing of technological supplements that enable the body’s agency. Indeed, there exists an interesting correlation between the fear of disabled bodies and their enabling through prosthetic technology insofar as the fear of technology is the consequence of denying the body’s technological need, which in turn is a consequence of the body’s presumption of wholeness and self‑sufficiency.

It takes a fact of shared space, the contiguity of two or more VERGE OF COLLAPSE 27 differences, and narrates their relation as a coincidental event. But that shared space remains [unstable] impossible to delimit; for as long as every relation is a relation to difference, what is a close or distant relation cannot be rigorously determined. (Wills 1995, 42; italics added) According to Wills, given the instability of images and ideas, their mean‑ ings and our understanding of them are contingent, they always exist in prosthetic relation to other images and ideas.

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