What is this?

An animated gif of an illustrated letter sliding out of a red envelope.

I made this newsletter for you, because I know we are all tired of not seeing disabled and chronic illness representation in our books, movies, tv shows, online articles, underground zines, bus stop advertisements, et cetera.

Pure Sound takes its name from Virginia Woolf’s essay “On Being Ill,” wherein Woolf describes the impossibility of using language to convey the depth of one’s illness or pain:

"Finally, among the drawbacks of illness as matter for literature there is the poverty of the language. English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no words for the shiver and the headache. It has all grown one way. The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry. There is nothing ready made for him. He is forced to coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning) so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out."

I chose this to represent how disabled and chronically ill people, and their pain, joy, grief, accomplishments, humor, and humanity are represented in media and pop culture in an abled society.

There are two types of newsletters that I send out: reviews, and interviews. Reviews will discuss disability representation in TV shows, books, movies, music, internet articles, and other forms of media and pop culture. The types of media will vary from novels to essay collections, TV shows to movies, written profiles to video features. I will mostly feature positive representation of disabled and chronically ill people, but will be honest in my review towards anything I think may be helpful or harmful. Interviews will be profiles of awesome disabled or chronically ill people.

If you have a recommendation for a piece of media to be featured in this newsletter, you can respond to the email, or DM me on Twitter or Instagram at @puresoundletter. Thanks so much for reading.

love,

Alex