An Anthropologist on Mars
This collection of essays are mainly casebook studies. Neurological patients, Oliver Sacks once wrote, are travellers to unimaginable lands. This book offers portraits of seven such travellers, including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette's syndrome unless he is operating, an... show more
This collection of essays are mainly casebook studies. Neurological patients, Oliver Sacks once wrote, are travellers to unimaginable lands. This book offers portraits of seven such travellers, including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette's syndrome unless he is operating, an artist who loses all sense of colour in a car accident, but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white, and an autistic professor who cannot decipher the simplest social exchange between humans, but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behaviour. These are paradoxical tales, for neurological disease can conduct one or other modes of being which - however abnormal they may be to our way of thinking - may develop beauties and virtues of their own. Thus one young man, Stephen Wiltshire, who is both retarded and autistic, none-the-less has produced thousands of astonishing drawings. The exploration of these individual lives is not one that can be conducted in a consulting room or office, and Sacks has taken off his white coat and deserted the hospital, by and large, to join his subjects in their own environments. Sacks also offers a perspective on the way our brains construct our individual worlds, and reconstructs the mental acts that are largely taken for granted - the act of seeing, the transport of memory and the notice of colour.
Publish date: May 1st 1996
Pages no: 464
Edition language: English
Too bad there's no bittersweet emoji. (And ironic that a website that dedicates itself to the discussion of books would want us to distill our ideas about a thing made of many words to a little yellow circle. Aren't we all here to avoid this?) Anyway. This is Oliver Sacks love letter to the worl...
“He feels he has been given “a whole new world”, which the rest of us, distracted by color, are insensitive to. He no longer thinks of color, pines for it, grieves its loss. He has almost come to see his achromatopsia as a strange gift, one that has ushered him into a new state of sensibility and be...
simple while at the same time comprehensive. approachable like Roach, but on a slightly more fluid and cohesive style. However, its approached in a more scientific manner, and thus doesnt make you laugh out loud while riding the T.
I gave up after two stalled efforts to interest myself. One thing I learned: the description of Tourette's symptoms sounds a lot like some descriptions of autism symptoms. Whether or not that means anything, I don't know.Library copy.
Believe it or not but these tales were first written down in a clinical neurologist's notebook, which means they are all real cases of human disorders. Of course there are many neurologists in the world, but there is only one of them who can TELL US there stories in an extraordinary and yet simple m...