Sunday, November 11, 2007


A friend of mine sent me a link to an interview with Oliver Sacks about his new book Musicophilia. After I wrote an email to my friend about my (admittedly limited) reading of Sacks, I thought I'd post the comments here.

I've avoided Sacks's books in the past because I have read quite a few of his articles in the New Yorker and have often had a somewhat irritated feeling about them. For example, in his article about an autistic boy who drew spectacularly detailed pen-and-ink drawings of buildings from memory, OS's representation of the case seemed distorted to me because he kept obsessing on the issue of whether such aesthetically successful works could mean anything when they were so clearly not examples of "artistic expression" (given that, OS argued, the autistic boy was not "expressing" himself through his drawings).

That said, I must also admit that I would not care as much about that slight but persistent irritation if I did not otherwise enjoy OS's essays so much.

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