Un Antropologo Su Marte

Autor: Oliver Sacks
Publisher: Adelphi Edizioni spa
ISBN: 884597264X
File Size: 68,47 MB
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«Il più delle volte mi sento come un antropologo su Marte» confessa a Oliver Sacks la paziente autistica di cui si racconta la storia nell’ultima parte di questo libro. Ed è la stessa persona che, per superare le proprie difficoltà a capire le emozioni umane, escogiterà una «macchina per abbracciare». Nella sua assoluta singolarità di scrittore, anche Sacks sembra avere escogitato qualcosa di simile, qualcosa che gli permette, di là dalla malattia, di «abbracciare» il malato. Unendo alla vocazione di narratore clinico una stupefacente capacità di empatia, Sacks riesce infatti a spingersi molto avanti nel territorio oscuro della malattia, là dove si celano le sue ragioni profonde, spesso elusive per la pura ragione medica. Il paradosso è questo: in talune circostanze eliminare la malattia significa operare una mutilazione sul paziente. E l’unico mezzo per evitarlo è penetrare nel romanzo neurologico che il paziente vive e spesso è incapace di comunicare o comunica in un modo che gli altri non sanno capire. Di questo processo delicato e affascinante, che ormai ci appare come il sigillo dell’opera intera di Sacks, si danno qui sette esempi, sette «casi straordinari» destinati a imprimersi per sempre nella memoria dei lettori: non più in quanto bruti «casi», ma in quanto storie di «individui unici, ciascuno dei quali abita (e in un certo senso ha creato) un mondo suo proprio». "Un antropologo su Marte" è apparso per la prima volta nel 1995.

Uncle Tungsten

Autor: Oliver Sacks
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0804172153
File Size: 62,92 MB
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Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals–also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded. In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks’ extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his “Uncle Tungsten,” whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes–in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.

Gratitude

Autor: Oliver Sacks
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 045149296X
File Size: 21,34 MB
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“My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver Sacks No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. “It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.” Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life. “Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.” —Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

Hallucinations

Autor: Oliver Sacks
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030795725X
File Size: 10,20 MB
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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. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. 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. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience. Here, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. 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.