Download A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Christina Crosby PDF

By Christina Crosby

Within the early night on October 1, 2003, Christina Crosby used to be 3 miles right into a seventeen mile bicycle journey, reason on achieving her aim of 1,000 miles for the driving season. She used to be a revered senior professor of English who had celebrated her 50th birthday a month prior to. As she crested a hill, she stuck a department within the spokes of her bicycle, which immediately pitched her to the pavement. Her chin took the whole strength of the blow, and her head snapped again. In that rapid, she used to be paralyzed.

In A physique, Undone, Crosby places into phrases a damaged physique that turns out past the achieve of language and figuring out. She writes a couple of physique shot via with neurological ache, disoriented in time and house, incapacitated by way of paralysis and deadened sensation. to deal with this overseas physique, she calls upon the readerly pleasures of narrative, severe feminist and queer pondering, and the centred language of lyric poetry. operating with those assets, she recollects her Nineteen Fifties tomboy methods in small-town, rural Pennsylvania, and files becoming into the Seventies via radical feminism and the affirmations of homosexual liberation.

Deeply unsentimental, Crosby communicates in unflinching prose the event of "diving into the ruin" of her physique to recognize grief, and loss, but in addition to acknowledge the wonder, fragility, and dependencies of all human our bodies. A memoir that could be a meditation on incapacity, metaphor, gender, intercourse, and love, A physique, Undone is a compelling account of residing on, as Crosby rebuilds her physique and models a existence via writing, reminiscence, and wish.

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Additional resources for A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain

Sample text

We speak of being in a body, as though the self were somehow contained inside a bodily exterior. Conversely, we understand the body as materiality held within an encompassing self-consciousness. ¹ Inside and outside run imperceptibly into each other, as when you run your finger along the side of a Möbius strip. Your body has and is a history. I continue to live in my body, which is, after all, the only one I’ll ever have. When I’m teaching now, I gesture extravagantly as I always did, using my hands to shape my argument.

I never asked for a mirror, and when I came upon one now and again in the physical therapy room, I would assiduously look away. Not only was it very difficult, quite literally, for me to see my body, but also I was afraid to know. I had no sense of what all the metal in my mouth was about, vaguely imagining I had braces, since I didn’t understand that bars were arched over the roof of my mouth to keep it from collapsing. Nor did I grasp how the plastic surgeons had worked on my face. I have a scar under my chin where, incomprehensibly, the surgeons pulled the skin up—like turning a glove inside out—so as to repair as best they could the shattered bones thus revealed.

We meet at the cash nexus, the labor market. Donna brings to that market her bodily capacity for work and her imperative need for money, while I bring money and my imperative need for help with my bodily incapacities. Donna can’t live without money, and I am glad to pay her what I owe. Yet money cannot begin to measure the value of her work. Money cannot calculate what Donna’s presence does for me or how she goes about the profoundly intimate work of helping me manage my body. I value her for who she is, the beautiful, gentle, skillful, kind, sad, singular person that I love.

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