A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Posts tagged "oliver sacks"
Feb 04, 2013
Indifference to source allows us to assimilate what we read, what we are told, what others say and think and write and paint, as intensely and richly as if they were primary experiences. It allows us to see and hear with other eyes and ears, to enter into other minds, to assimilate the art and science and religion of the whole culture, to enter into and contribute to the common mind, the general commonwealth of knowledge. This sort of sharing and participation, this communion, would not be possible if all our knowledge, our memories, were tagged and identified, seen as private, exclusively ours. Memory is dialogic and arises not only from direct experience but from the intercourse of many minds.
I suspect that many of my enthusiasms and impulses, which seem entirely my own, have arisen from others’ suggestions, which have powerfully influenced me, consciously or unconsciously, and then been forgotten…. There is no easy way of distinguishing a genuine memory or inspiration, felt as such, from those that have been borrowed or suggested
Dec 07, 2010
Oliver Sacks talks about his desk
I want company, even if it’s inorganic…I think some of the happiest years of my life were between 10 and 14 when I had a passion for chemistry in general, and metals, in particular. And now, I’ve left my hometown, and my parents are dead, and my brothers are dead, and so much of the past is gone…this rather childlike, chemical bench-like desk appeals to me, gives me some comfort, and makes me feel at home.
Don’t miss the end, when he draws!
Oct 26, 2010
I sometimes find myself just admiring the pockets of space between the different branches in a tree and walking and immersing myself in those pockets of space. It is just beautiful. It is a beautiful sensation.
Jun 18, 2009
Oliver Sacks’ desk
On his legal pad:
This is what my work looks like to begin with—you see these long yellow sheets, then I go over them with pens, pencils of different colors, signifying different generations. The feeling of a pen or the machine-gun-like clatter of a typewriter appeals to me. But also, I’m afraid of erasure. I’m terrified of the notion that at any moment a computer may collapse and destroy what one has done.
(via mlarson via @thebookslut
Feb 06, 2009
» Oliver Sacks on Losing His Stereoscopic Vision
Sacks, fascinating as ever:
I was very conscious of stereo as a wonderful part of the visual world….So it’s an irony that someone like myself has now lost stereo. And having been, I think, in an exceptionally deep world with a rich relief, I now feel myself in a rather flat world. I mean, I infer depth and I know depth and I can manipulate myself perfectly well in a three-dimensional world — walking or driving — but it’s a sort of flatland….Originally when this happened, and this happened very suddenly, I would go to shake hands with people and miss their hand. Or I would go to pour a glass of wine and miss the glass. The first time I did this, I poured all the wine in someone’s lap. He wasn’t very appreciative of that. I find steps and curves particularly challenging. Unless there are other visual cues, they’re just lines on the ground.
He goes on to talk about the poet Virginia Adair
She published a lot as a young woman but then became a teacher of English. But then she lost her vision and started hallucinating in her 80s and this started up her poetic voice again. And she published her first book of poems when she was 83. So she was able to use her Charles Bonnet hallucinations very creatively…. Quite a lot of her poems are about the amazing cascade of images which would rush through her mind.
I’ve been fascinated with stereoscopic vision, especially when I read about Art Spiegelman’s lazy eye and its importance to his cartooning
"Sacks says there’s a part of the brain that is specific to recognizing cartoons."
Nov 05, 2007
Oct 31, 2007
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