It was here, in relation to his students, that certain strange problems were first observed. Sometimes a student would present himself, and Dr P. The moment the student spoke, he would be recognised by his voice. Such incidents multiplied, causing embarrassment, perplexity, fear—and, sometimes, comedy.
The doubleness of the epigraphs, and the contrast between them-indeed, the contrast which Ivy McKenzie draws between the physician and the naturalist-corresponds to a certain doubleness in me: My work, my life, is all with the sick-but the sick and their sickness drives me to thoughts which, perhaps, I might otherwise not have.
So much so that I am compelled to ask, with Nietzsche: Constantly my patients drive me to question, and constantly my questions drive me to patients-thus in the stories or studies which follow there is a continual movement from one to the other.
Studies, yes; why stories, or cases? Hippocrates introduced the historical conception of disease, the idea that diseases have a course, from their first intimations to their climax or crisis, and thence to their happy or fatal resolution.
Hippocrates thus introduced the case history, a description, or depiction, of the natural history of disease-precisely expressed by the old word 'pathology. There is no 'subject' in a narrow case history; modern case histories allude to the subject in a cursory phrase 'a trisomic albino female of 21'which could as well apply to a rat as a human being.
To restore the human subject at the centre-the suffering, afflicted, fighting, human subject-we must deepen a case history to a narrative or tale; only then do we have a 'who' as well as a 'what', a real person, a patient, in relation to disease-in relation to the physical.
The patient's essential being is very relevant in the higher reaches of neurology, and in psychology; for here the patient's personhood is essentially involved, and the study of disease and of identity cannot be disjoined.
Such disorders, and their depiction and study, indeed entail a new discipline, which we may call the 'neurology of identity', for it deals with the neural foundations of the self, the age-old problem of mind and brain. It is possible that there must, of necessity, be a gulf, a gulf of category, between the psychical and the physical; but studies and stories pertaining simultaneously and inseparably to both-and it is these which especially fascinate me, and which on the whole I present here-may nonetheless serve to bring them nearer, to bring us to the very intersection of mechanism and life, to the relation of physiological processes to biography.
The tradition of richly human clinical tales reached a high point in the nineteenth century, and then declined, with the advent of an impersonal neurological science. Thus the case-histories in this book hark back to an ancient tradition: Classical fables have archetypal figures-heroes, victims, martyrs, warriors.
Neurological patients are all of these-and in the strange tales told here they are also something more. How, in these mythical or metaphorical terms, shall we categorise the 'lost Mariner', or the other strange figures in this book?
We may say they are travellers to unimaginable lands-lands of which otherwise we should have no idea or conception.
This is why their lives and journeys seem to me to have a quality of the fabulous, why I have used Osier's Arabian Nights image as an epigraph, and why I feel compelled to speak of tales and fables as well as cases. The scientific and the romantic in such realms cry out to come together-Luria liked to speak here of 'romantic science'.
They come together at the intersection of fact and fable, the intersection which characterises as it did in my book Awakenings the lives of the patients here narrated. To what shall we compare them?
We may not have any existing models, metaphors or myths. Has the time perhaps come for new symbols, new myths? Eight of the chapters in this book have already been published: A very early account of one of my patients-the 'original' of Rose R.
Of my four 'Phantoms', the first two were published as 'clinical curios' in the British Medical journal Kumar English The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was written by Oliver Sacks who is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University.
Sacks writes about his studies of a man named Dr. P who has an unusual brain disorder. Start studying The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat - Vocabulary. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Written By: Dr. Oliver Sacks Although the title suggests a comical book, Oliver Sacks presents an entirely different look on the mentally challenged/disturbed. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a book that explains why a patient shows signs of losses, excesses, transports, and simplicity.
LitCharts Comparison Tool. Compare and contrast books with ease. Compare A Room of One's Own with A Room with a View. The lectures were conceived by Woolf around the time that the law finally changed in Britain to allow women the vote.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a book that explains why a patient shows signs of losses, excesses, transports, and simplicity.
Coincidentally, the book opens with its titling story, letting the reader explore the mind of an accomplish doctor who seems to have lost his true sight on life..
The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a book about people with neurological disorders centred on issues with perception and understanding the world. The brain receives so much information each second, information we will never be consciously aware of/5.