You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Reply #11: It May Help to Have an Aphasic Around the House [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
11. It May Help to Have an Aphasic Around the House
Edited on Sun Oct-23-11 10:18 PM by On the Road
or a tonal agnostic. From The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks, 1985:

There he was, the old Charmer, the Actor, with his practised rhetoric, his histrionisms, his emotional appeal --and all the patients were convulsed with laughter. Well, not all: some looked bewildered, some looked outraged, one or two looked apprehensive, but most looked amused. The President was, as always, moving --but he was moving them, apparently, mainly to laughter. What could they be thinking? Were they failing to understand him? Or did they, perhaps, understand him all too well?

--snip

In this, then, lies (the aphasics') power of understanding--understanding, without words, what is authentic or inauthentic. Thus it was the grimaces, the histrionisms, the false gestures and, above all, the false tones and cadences of the voice, which rang false for these wordless but immensely sensitive patients. It was to these (for them) most glaring, even grotesque, incongruities and improprieties that my aphasic patients responded, undeceived and undeceivable by words. This is why they laughed at the President's speech.

---snip

Emily D. also listened, stony-faced, to the President's speech, bringing to it a strange mixture of enhanced and defective perceptions ---precisely the opposite. mixture to those of our aphasiacs. It did not move her --no speech now moved her-- and all that was evocative, genuine or false completely passed her by. Deprived of emotional reaction, was she then (like the rest of us) transported or taken in? By no means. 'He is not cogent,' she said. 'He does not speak good prose. His word-use is improper. Either he is brain-damaged, or he has something to conceal.' Thus the President's speech did not work for Emily D. either, due to her enhanced sense of formal language use, propriety as prose, any more than it worked for our aphasiacs, with their word-deafness but enhanced sense of tone.

http://www.indiana.edu/~jkkteach/P335/PresidentsSpeech....


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC