He knew he was going blind. Yet he finished graduate school, became a history professor, and wrote books about the American West. Then, nearly fifty, Robert Hine lost his vision completely. Fifteen years later, a risky eye operation restored partial vision, returning Hine to the world of the sighted. "The trauma seemed instructive enough" for him to begin a journal.
That journal is the heart of Second Sight, a sensitively written account of Hine's journey into darkness and out again. The first parts are told simply, with little anguish. The emotion comes when sight returns; like a child he discovers the world anew—the intensity of colors, the sadness of faces grown older, the renewed excitement of sex and the body.
With the understanding and insights that come from living on both sides of the divide, Hine ponders the meaning of blindness. His search is enriched by a discourse with other blind writers, humorist James Thurber, novelist Eleanor Clark, poet Jorge Luis Borges, among others. With them he shares thoughts on the acceptance and advantages of blindness, resentment of the blind, the reluctance with sex, and the psychological depression that often follows the recovery of sight.
Hine's blindness was the altered state in which to learn and live, and his deliverance from blindness the spur to seek and share its lessons. What he found makes a moving story that embraces all of us—those who can see and those who cannot.
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" Second Sight has meaning for all of us, whether we see well or not well or not at all. . . . Warm subtle, percipient, with strong feelings lightly expressed."--August FrugéAbout the Author:
Robert V. Hine is Professor of History Emeritus of the University of California, Riverside, and Professor Recalled at the University of California, Irvine. Among his many books are Josiah Royce (1992), and California's Utopian Colonies (3rd reprint edition California, 1983).
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Book Description University of California Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New DJ. First Edition NL with 1. University of California Press 1993 First Edition NL with 1 New/New DJ Editorial Reviews From The experience of recovering vision after 15 years of blindness is captured in journal entries made by Hine, emeritus professor of history at UC Riverside. Told at age 20 that he would eventually become blind, Hine, aided by his wife, coped with diminishing sight, finishing graduate school, progressing in his academic career and even finding ironic humor in the notion of research by a person of low vision. When total blindness came at the age of 50, it lasted 15 years, a not unhappy period, as Hine, now fluent in Braille and assisted by advanced computer technology, lived in a lively world of sound and touch. Then a high-risk operation restored partial vision to one eye, and he was catapulted into a new world where vision was dominant. Despite his joy at independence, he also felt some ambivalence at the loss of the precisely ordered lifestyle blindness had imposed on him. Hine reflects on the published attitudes of blind writers, as he effectively conveys the texture of his well-lived and well-appreciated life. 1993 This story of a man who gradually lost his sight while finishing graduate school and becoming a history professor grew out of a journal written after a risky eye operation restored partial sight to one eye. The experience so overwhelmed Hine that he sought out books by blind people, among them John Hull's Touching the Rock ( LJ 3/1/91). In Hull, he found a fellow professor who knew blindness but was not as fortunate to have partial sight restored. Hine also felt kin with other writers such as James Thurber and Eleanor Clark. Hine's rediscovery of the world, the intensity of colors, and the joy of people's faces all make for a moving and sensitive story. Read with Touching the Rock , his gives rare insight into blindness. Highly recommended.- Janet M. Coggan, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville 1993. Bookseller Inventory # 272200
Book Description University of California Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0520081951
Book Description University of California Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0520081951
Book Description University of California Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110520081951