And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374714940

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 4218

The untold story of Dr. Oliver Sacks, his own most singular patient "[An] engrossing biographical memoir. This is Sacks at full blast: on endless ward rounds, observing his post-encephalitic patients . . . exulting over horseshoe crabs and chunks of Iceland spar." —Barbara Kiser, Nature The author Lawrence Weschler began spending time with Oliver Sacks in the early 1980s, when he set out to profile the neurologist for his own new employer, The New Yorker. Almost a decade earlier, Dr. Sacks had published his masterpiece Awakenings—the account of his long-dormant patients’ miraculous but troubling return to life in a Bronx hospital ward. But the book had hardly been an immediate success, and the rumpled clinician was still largely unknown. Over the ensuing four years, the two men worked closely together until, for wracking personal reasons, Sacks asked Weschler to abandon the profile, a request to which Weschler acceded. The two remained close friends, however, across the next thirty years and then, just as Sacks was dying, he urged Weschler to take up the project once again. This book is the result of that entreaty. Weschler sets Sacks’s brilliant table talk and extravagant personality in vivid relief, casting himself as a beanpole Sancho to Sacks’s capacious Quixote. We see Sacks rowing and ranting and caring deeply; composing the essays that would form The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; recalling his turbulent drug-fueled younger days; helping his patients and exhausting his friends; and waging intellectual war against a medical and scientific establishment that failed to address his greatest concern: the spontaneous specificity of the individual human soul. And all the while he is pouring out a stream of glorious, ribald, hilarious, and often profound conversation that establishes him as one of the great talkers of the age. Here is the definitive portrait of Sacks as our preeminent romantic scientist, a self-described “clinical ontologist” whose entire practice revolved around the single fundamental question he effectively asked each of his patients: How are you? Which is to say, How do you be? A question which Weschler, with this book, turns back on the good doctor himself.


Author: Danielle Spencer

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0197510760

Category: Medical

Page: 392

View: 2749

Bridging memoir with key concepts in narratology, philosophy and history of medicine, and disability studies, this book identifies and names the phenomenon of metagnosis: the experience of learning in adulthood of a longstanding condition. It can occur when the condition has remained undetected (e.g. colorblindness) and/or when the diagnostic categories themselves have shifted (e.g. ADHD). More broadly, it can occur with unexpected revelations bearing upon selfhood, such as surprising genetic test results. Though this phenomenon has received relatively scant attention, learning of an unknown condition is often a significant and bewildering revelation, one that subverts narrative expectations and customary categories. How do we understand these revelations? In addressing this topic Danielle Spencer approaches narrative medicine as a robust research methodology comprising interdisciplinarity, narrative attentiveness, and the creation of writerly texts. Beginning with Spencer's own experience, the book explores the issues raised by metagnosis, from communicability to narrative intelligibility to different ways of seeing. Next, it traces the distinctive metagnostic narrative arc through the stages of recognition, subversion, and renegotiation, discussing this trajectory in light of a range of metagnostic experiences-from Blade Runner to real-world mid-life diagnoses. Finally, it situates metagnosis in relation to genetic revelations and the broader discourses concerning identity. Spencer proposes that better understanding metagnosis will not simply aid those directly affected, but will serve as a bellwether for how we will all navigate advancing biomedical and genomic knowledge, and how we may fruitfully interrogate the very notion of identity.

Robert Irwin Getty Garden

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: Getty Publications

ISBN: 1606066579

Category: Art

Page: 144

View: 3239

A beautifully illustrated, accessible volume about one of the Getty Center’s best-loved sites. Among the most beloved sites at the Getty Center, the Central Garden has aroused intense interest from the moment artist Robert Irwin was awarded the commission. First published in 2002, Robert Irwin Getty Garden is comprised of a series of discussions between noted author Lawrence Weschler and Irwin, providing a lively account of what Irwin has playfully termed “a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art.” The text revolves around four garden walks: extended conversations in which the artist explains the critical choices he made—from plant materials to steel—in the creation of a living work of art that has helped to redefine what a modern garden can and should be. This updated edition features new photography of the Central Garden in a smaller, more accessible format.

This Land

Author: Lawrence Weschler,David Opdyke

Publisher: Monacelli Press

ISBN: 1580935567

Category: Art

Page: 160

View: 6642

David Opdyke's massive collage This Land as detailed in this book by award-winning author Lawrence Weschler presents a trenchant satire of climate change and the American Dream. This Land is a large-scale (16 x 10') collage of treated vintage American postcards by American artist David Opdyke. What at first looks like a gridwork of colorful tiles portraying a panoramic bird's eye view of an alpine valley reveal upon closer inspection that it is composed of vintage postcards from the early twentieth century. Comprising more than 500 postcards, each one portraying a distinct slice of idealized Americana (town squares, mountain highways, recently completed dams, main streets and county seats, lakes and rivers)--it becomes clear that Opdyke has layered diminutively painted interventions of his own. In this refashioning, forests are aflame, tornados ravage scenes from one card into the next, a steamboat lolling up the Mississippi is swallowed up whole by some sort of invasive new species, frogs fall from the sky. The human response looks like a cacophony of cults and cons, panic and denial. Biplanes trail banners urging "Repent Now!," others insist "Legislative Action Would Be Premature," while still others beg, "Build the Sea Wall!" The book This Land allows readers a close viewing that allows them to focus on the amusing and disturbing satirical details that Opdyke details, enlivened by Lawrence Weschler's lively style of artist profile, critical interpretation, and humorous riffing. A deep exploration of this intricate artwork, This Land is a rich document whose relevance and reach will unfortunately only grow.

Contemporary Literary Criticism

Author: Jeffery Hunter

Publisher: Gale / Cengage Learning

ISBN: 9780787679699

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 480

View: 5098

Covers authors who are currently active or who died after December 31, 1959. Profiles novelists, poets, playwrights and other creative and nonfiction writers by providing criticism taken from books, magazines, literary reviews, newspapers and scholarly journals.


Author: Curt Siodmak

Publisher: N.A


Category: Science fiction

Page: 159

View: 5286

The Man Who

Author: Peter Brook,Marie-Hélène Estienne

Publisher: Methuen Drama


Category: Drama

Page: 41

View: 3594

Using Oliver Sacks' neurological study The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat as its inspiration, The Man Who offers a series of fascinating Doctor/Patient scenarios that examine our attempts to understand the workings of the brain. In turn, these case studies become Brook's starting point in his search for a new theatre form.


Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 1447237226

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 336

View: 631

Have you ever seen something that wasn't really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don't belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one's own body. Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. In Hallucinations, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr Oliver Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture's folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition.

The Great White Lie

Author: Walt Bogdanich

Publisher: Touchstone Books

ISBN: 9780671792909

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 3652

A journalist offers a frightening portrayal of American hospitals, revealing tales of critical nursing shortages, botched surgeries, false billings, forced labor, bureaucratic incompetence, and inadequate care