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An anthropologist on Mars : seven…

An anthropologist on Mars : seven paradoxical tales (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Oliver W. Sacks

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3,355432,512 (4.11)1 / 96
The author profiles seven neurological patients, including a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome and an artist whose color sense is destroyed in an accident but finds new creative power in black and white.
Title:An anthropologist on Mars : seven paradoxical tales
Authors:Oliver W. Sacks
Info:New York : Vintage Books, 1996, c1995.
Collections:Your library

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An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks (1995)

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English (38)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Another collection of Sacks' fascinating case studies. As usual, they make for great reading. ( )
  JBD1 | Jun 22, 2019 |
Beautiful. Written with insight and compassion by a man of remarkable humanity and curiosity without a shred of hubris. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
Out of seven stories, I enjoyed five. I think the book would have been better served with only five stories anyway as it was extremely dense and could not be considered a fast read by my standards. The material required frequent pauses between stories or even during them to really let all the science and information sink in. I did think Sacks repeated himself fairly often by the end. If he pondered to himself again whether an autistic person can have a complete sense of self without the access to the emotional experiences and depth the average person experiences, I was going to go crazy. I get it... that's what your asking... alright already...

Overall though, the stories and the neurology were interesting and written in a way that you don't need any strong scientific basis to understand them. I found the Colorblind Artist fascinating and the Anthropologist on Mars section on Temple Grandin flew by. Good book, but recommended only if you embrace your nerdy side. ( )
  Monkeypats | Feb 2, 2017 |
Oliver Sacks' lengthy interview (over several days) with Temple Grandin provides the title essay in this book. An Anthropologist on Mars is Temple's term for herself, an autistic individual trying to decipher the unspoken social rules around her. Hers is one of seven case histories Dr. Sacks, a self-described 'neuro-anthropologist' presents as examples of the brain's creativity in adapting to disease and neurological challenges. Not an easy read but well worth the effort. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
The video-gone-viral featuring "this autistic boy" drawing New York City in amazing detail after a helicopter trip gets a back story and the artist, Stephen Wiltshire, is introduced in the chapter entitled Prodigies. The inclusion of some of Wiltshire's drawings adds immensely to the book, as do the coloured plates in the chapter about the expatriate from an Italian hill town who obsessively painted his home village in great detail, despite not having returned for decades. (He later returned, in the company of Dr. Sacks, to be honoured with a local exhibition in a neighbouring town - his birthplace is now virtually deserted, ironically similar to his unpeopled paintings.) ( )
  muumi | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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The universe is not only queerer than we imagine, but queerer than we can imagine.
J. B. S. Haldane
Ask not what disease the person has, but rather what person the disease has.
(attributed to) William Osler
To the seven whose stories are related here
First words
I am writing this with my left hand, although I am strongly right-handed.
Early in March 1986 I received the following letter:
I am a rather successful artist just past 65 years of age.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Sacks' gelijktijdige beheersing van de diverse niveaus van analyse is benijdenswaardig. Zijn boek, dat zowel elegant als nauwgezet is, herstelt ons geloof in de medische wetenschap als een van de menswaardigste bezigheden.
'Neurologische patiënten,' schreef Oliver Sacks eens, 'zijn reizigers naar onvoorstelbare gebieden.' Een antropoloog op Mars . bevat /.even portretten van zulke reizigers
- waaronder een portret van een chirurg die lijdt aan het syndroom van Tourette, behalve op de momenten dat hij opereert, een kunstenaar die na een autoongeluk zijn vermogen verliest om kleuren te zien maar die daardoor een nieuw gevoel voor het werken in zwart-wït ontwikkelt, en een autistische professor die zich 'een antropoloog op Mars voelt' omdat ze de simpelste omgang tussen mensen onderling niet kan volgen, maar die een carrière heeft opgebouwd vanwege haar intuïtieve begrip van het gedrag van dieren. Deze zeven verhalen zijn paradoxaal, omdat een neurologische ziekte een bestaan tot gevolg kan hebben dat door anderen als 'abnormaal' wordt afgedaan, terwijl in dat 'abnormale' bestaan juist door die afwijkende gesteldheid bijzondere ervaringen kunnen optreden. Oliver Sacks heeft zijn reizigers buiten de kliniek, in hun eigen bestaan gevolgd, hij 'ging op huisbezoek aan de grens van de ervaringswereld'. Terwijl hij rnet zijn patiënten meereist, biedt Saeks ons een nieuw perspectief op de wijze waarop onze hersenen onze eigen, individuele wereld scheppen. In zijn heldere en boeiende reconstructies van de mentale processen die wij als vanzelfsprekend beschouwen - zien, herinnering, kleurgevoel - doet Sacks ons opnieuw verbaasd staan over wie we eigenlijk zijn.
Oliver Sacks (Londen, 1933} verwierf in 1984 internationale faarn met Een been om op te staan. Na De man die zijn vrouw voor een hoed hield verschenen bij Meulenhoff Stemmen zien. Een reis naar de wereld van de doven, Ontwaken in verbijsteringen zijn beroemde studie Migraine.
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