Monday, August 13, 2007

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

"Temporal lobe epileptics are such interesting company- Dostoyevsky, van Gogh. I've heard it said that Jonathan Swift and Lewis Carroll probably had it too, because of all the little people they wrote about in Gulliver's Travels and Alice in Wonderland."

If this sounds neat, pick up a copy of Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language by William H. Calvin and George A. Ojemann. Traverse the brain's intricate landscape with Neil, a temporal lobe epileptic, before, during, and after neurosurgery. While he does not hallucinate worlds of croquet players and tea drinking mad hatters, a better understanding of the mental states and cognitive experiences of people with temporal lobe dysfunction is gained through Neil's own self-discovery. Other well-known writers and artists speculated to have temporal lobe epilepsy include Edgar Allan Poe, Gustave Flaubert, and Sylvia Plath.

This book suggestion has been brought to you by Reading Rainbow.

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