Oliver Sacks

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and Other Clinical Tales

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THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT brings together twenty-four of Oliver Sacks’ most fascinating and beloved case studies. The patients in these pages are confronted with almost inconceivably strange neurological disorders; in Sacks’ telling, their stories are a profound testament to the adaptability of the human brain and the resilience of the human spirit.
Dr. Sacks treats each of his subjects—the amnesic fifty-year-old man who believes himself to be a young sailor in the Navy, the “disembodied” woman whose limbs have become alien to her, and of course the famous man who mistook his wife for a hat—with a deep respect for the unique individual living beneath the disorder. These tales inspire awe and empathy, allowing the reader to enter the uncanny worlds of those with autism, Alzheimer's, Tourette's syndrome, and other unfathomable neurological conditions.
“One of the great clinical writers of the 20th century” (The New York Times), Dr. Sacks brings to vivid life some of the most fundamental questions about identity and the human mind.
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311 printed pages
Original publication
2010
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Impressions

    Мариshared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    🔮Hidden Depths
    💡Learnt A Lot
    🎯Worthwhile
    💞Loved Up

    Great book! Absolutely loved it.

    Morten Storm Hansenshared an impressionlast year
    🙈Lost On Me

Quotes

    boydhas quoted5 years ago
    The sort of facetious indifference and ‘equalisation’ shown by this patient is not uncommon—German neurologists call it Witzel-sucht
    biahas quoted2 days ago
    Perhaps I could find advice or help in the medical literature— a literature which, for some reason, was largely Russian, from Korsakov’s original thesis (Moscow, 1887) about such cases of memory loss, which are still called ‘Korsakov’s syndrome’, to Luria’s Neuropsychology of Memory (which appeared in translation only a year after I first saw Jimmie). Korsakov wrote in 1887:

    Memory of recent events is disturbed almost exclusively; recent impressions apparently disappear soonest, whereas impressions of long ago are recalled properly, so that the patient’s ingenuity, his sharpness of wit, and his resourcefulness remain largely unaffected.

    To Korsakov’s brilliant but spare observations, almost a century of further research has been added—the richest and deepest, by far, being Luria’s. And in Luria’s account science became poetry, and the pathos of radical lostness was evoked. ‘Gross disturbances of the organization of impressions of events and their sequence in time can always be observed in such patients,’ he wrote. ‘In consequence, they lose their integral experience of time and begin to live in a world of isolated impressions.’ Further, as Luria noted, the eradication of impressions (and their disorder) might spread backward in time—‘in the most serious cases—even to relatively distant events.’
    biahas quoted2 days ago
    science became poetry, and the pathos of radical lostness was evoked.

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