Deaf geographies, and other worlds.
I’m not sure how far I got with publishing this last year – but here are the completed French transcription in pdf form, and a provisional early bilingual text with the French and English presented together.
The 1834 banquet contains a wonderful cameo appearance from Louis Daguerre, one of the fathers of photography.
Following the after-dinner speeches, the banquet account relates that in a neighbouring room:
The free Society of the Fine Arts were celebrating M. Daguerre and his tableau of the church of Saint Etienne du Mont… The Free Society’s meeting asked to mix, for a while, with that of the Sourds-Muets (Deaf-Mutes). This proposition was welcomed with enthusiasm, and the two families were soon no more than one. The infirmity of the one disappeared before the consideration of the other. There was, then, nothing more than one single, intelligent, people communicating with pencil, with brush, with fingers or with speech.
I’ve found a picture of the tableau that’s mentioned, and it’s in the text…
What a wonderful picture of a space reconfigured away from a disabling conflict over communication media and, instead, produced around the common ability to converse visually – if only with a paper and a pen.