Pain Made Holy
Pain Made Holy
Narratives of Disability and Pain in The Curse of Chalion
Through an examination of the experiences of Castillar Lupe dy Cazaril, protagonist of Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion, this chapter argues that the novel mirrors academic and advocacy agendas on the topics of passing, sexuality, and care, while ultimately relating to emerging perspectives from queer disability studies critiques of normalcy. The chapter engages with The Curse of Chalion as a text that illustrates and contributes to theoretical and activist work on disability in relation to vulnerability and cure, through the multiple meanings of Cazaril’s ‘holy pain’. The chapter shows how, in its overarching concern with embodiment through Cazaril’s physical suffering, fatigue, chronic illness, and rehabilitation, Bujold’s speculative narrative aligns with recent disability studies and disability justice frameworks that hold space for multiple, nuanced perspectives on these issues, inviting examination of the connections between the bodily and social dimensions of disability.
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