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The Island of the Colorblind (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Januar 1998

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In his books An Anthropologist on Mars and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks details the lives of patients isolated by neurological disorders, shedding light on our common humanity and the ways in which we perceive the world around us. Now he looks at the effects of physical isolation in The Island of the Colorblind. On this journey, he carried with him the intellectual curiousity, kind understanding, and unique vision he has so consistently demonstrated.

Drawn to the Micronesian island of Pingelap by reports of a community of people born totally colorblind, Dr. Sacks set up a clinic in a one-room dispensary. There he listened to patients describe their colorless world in terms rich with pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. Then, in Guam, he investigated a puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis, making housecalls amid crowing cockerels, cycad jungles, and the remains of a colonial culture. The experience affords Sacks an opportunity to elaborate on such personal passions as botany and history and to explore the meaning of islands, the dissemination of species, the birth of disease, and the nature of deep geologic time. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

Pressestimmen

"Magical . . . Sacks's fans are in for a treat." --Kirkus

"An explorer of that most wonderous of islands, the human brain,"  writes D.M. Thomas in The New York Times Book Review, "Oliver Sacks also loves the oceanic kind of islands."  Both kinds figure movingly in this book--part travelogue, part autobiography, part medical mystery story--in which Sacks's journeys to a tiny Pacific atoll and the island of Guam become explorations of the time, and the complexities of being human.

"Sacks's total immersion in islands life makes this luminous, beautifully written report a wonderous voyage of discovery. As a travel writer, Sacks ranks with Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin. As an investigator of the mind's mysteries, he is in a class by himself."
--Publishers Weekly

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Format: Taschenbuch
Oliver Sacks takes all those with an interest in science on a journey to the Island of The Colorblind. A neurologist that has both an extensive medical knowledge and a special respect for his patients, uses specific examples, imagery, and particular diction to express that everyone is unique and has their own distinct qualities that make them special, no matter how they are disabled. In his journey through the islands, Dr. Sacks discovers that being colorblind can bring out other capabilities and adaptations to everyday life. The journey begins with Dr. Sacks on his way to the island of Pingelap, one of the many small islands located in the Pacific. To familiarize the reader to the subject of which he is studying, the achromatope condition, and show his fascination for the inevitable disability, Oliver Sacks tells of past findings of colorblind colonies and other isolated conditions. He provides several allusions to Darwin, Conan Doyle, and other explorers. All this is done while "island hopping" and provides an experience of making a voyage for the reader. Once on the island, many ecstatic islanders greet Dr. Sacks, and with them they bring their intricate culture. While Oliver Sacks experiences the island, he conducts studies and is fascinated by how well the achromatopes have adapted their culture and lifestyle to being colorblind. After offering medical assistance to the people of the island, he then moves on to Pohnpei, a larger island just West of Pingelap. It is here that Dr. Sacks discovers the rich heritage of the island. He also studies the lifestyles of the islanders and runs several tests, eventually distributing visors and special sunglasses, similar to his work on Pingelap.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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"There is a grandeur in this view of life." -- Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species
In The Island of the Colorblind, Oliver Sacks embarks upon an adventure that must have been nearly as exciting for him as Darwin's enlightening journey to the Galapagos Islands. The famous neurologist, who also is the author of Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, and An Anthropologist on Mars, first conceived of the trip when he discovered that one of the Caroline Islands--Pingelap--held an unusually large community of achromatopes. Individuals with achromatopsia are born not only colorblind, but they also are light intolerant and unable to see fine detail.
Inspired by childhood readings of H.G. Wells (The Country of the Blind), Sacks wondered about the condition of such a uniquely individuated group of people living in isolation. He wished to explore what it meant to be colorblind and to live in a colorblind community. Sacks was joined by an American ophthalmologist named Robert Wasserman and Knut Nordby, a Norwegian physiologist and achromatope. These unlikely trailblazers converged in Hawaii and began island-hopping their way towards Pingelap.
Since Sacks was the one who wrote the book, the resulting work is not a dry, detached account of interactions with these unusual people; rather, The Island of the Colorblind is a thoroughly engaging, often humorous and touching account. Much of the joy in reading Sacks lies in witnessing the sheer glee and childlike wonder with which he approaches every escapade. Never just a neurologist, Sacks proves also to be a capable botanist, an incisive sociologist, and even a sort of secular missionary, cheerily dispensing sunglasses and other visual aids to the optically impaired natives of Pingelap.
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Having thoroughly enjoyed 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat' I opted to make this my second Dr. Sacks outing. Once again the good doctor provides compelling, humane, interesting stories about odd physiological conditions and the cultures that foster and contend with them. In multiple episodes that have him traveling to small volcanic islands in Micronesia, the entertaining neurologist studies a group of people who have been born without the ability to see color. Accompanying him is a Nordic specialist in this genetic trait, and one who also happens to share the same condition. As the troupe moves about the islands, they meet and talk with the achromatopes; the natives and Knut evince a feeling of camaraderie. Dr. Sacks plumbs their depths to hear them describe their world in terms of textures and monochrome shades, completely barren of color. Along the way, he experiences a taste of their 'night' lives, the skills they have developed to compensate for their lack of color sight. The next topic in the island hopping takes them to Guam where Sacks sees the patients of an associate who suffer from lytico-bodig, a degenerative condition which causes paralysis [not unlike Dr. Sacks' own neurological patients] and eventual dissolution. Having struck only a certain age bracket on the islands, the mysterious disease has confounded science for almost four decades and has almost killed off its victims. Finally, he treks to Rota to walk among the ancient Cycad plants that have captured his imagination since childhood. This novel appealed to the adventurer's spirit while I was reading it, listening to Dr. Sacks describes the beauty of the island culture and the supremely languid pace of life. Dr.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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