HELEN KELLER: Sketch for a Portrait by Van Wyck Brooks

HELEN KELLER: Sketch for a Portrait

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This portrait (it is certainly something more than a Sketch for a Portrait), and tribute has an additional commemorative value in this year which honors Helen Keller's 75th, and without sentimental hyperbole conveys the challenge of the life which while ""carried on always in silence, in the dark"" denied all intellectual and many physical confines. Much of the material is of course based on Helen Keller's own story of her life- but Van Wyck Brooks, who was to know her well during her later years, fills in personal marginalia. The outlines of the familiar story are of course here; of the childhood in Alabama prior to the advent of Anne Sullivan Macy; of the development of that amazing mind-and will- which took her on and through Radcliffe; of her books, her need to earn a living (and proud determination to do so), her writing, lecturing and appearances; of her work for the blind through the years; of her many friendships- from Alexander Bell and Mark Twain in the early days, to Jo Davidson and Sandburg and many others in the later years. Perhaps what emerges most clearly is the sense of Helen Keller's enormous curiosity and vitality, the extraordinary perceptions developed since more ordinary means of communication were refused her, the many intellectual interests- past and present, the people who shared her world.... This friendship then should be for the world at large a happy association of writer and subject.

Publisher: Dutton