Monet’s Cataracts, Re-examined

In the first decade of the twentieth century, Claude Monet’s world began to go dark. The impressionist painter had experienced problems with his eyesight before: as early as 1867, a young Monet found that his penchant for painting outdoors, in full sun, strained his eyes to the point where he worried he would go blind.[1] Now, some forty years later, he was developing cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that can cause blurring and color distortion.

#DisabilityToo: Bringing Disability into a Modernist #MeToo Moment

In the original “Reading The Waste Land with the #MeToo Generation” Modernism/modernity cluster, Erin Templeton suggests an imbrication of gender and mental disability foundational to the creation of The Waste Land through her analysis of Vivien Eliot’s contributions to “A Game of Chess.”[1] Templeton observes that as Eliot’s incorporated Vivien’s marginal notes, the poem came to “[feature] material traces left by an actual female hand.” More specifically, though, such traces are left by a disabled female hand, the hand of a reader and collaborator for whom experiences of gender, sexuality, and mental and physical health were inextricably linked. Following on Templeton’s work of making visible the corporeality of women as characters and creators in modernist literature, this essay applies a #MeToo framework to canonical modernist narratives in which sexual abuse and disability collide.