File Size: 4324 KB
Print Length: 66 pages
Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (November 24, 2015)
Publication Date: November 24, 2015
This book is a very short read... A collection of some of his ultimate essays. Though I got read some of them before - or noticed him tell some of these reports in interviews, reading them again reminds me as to what I love about Oliver Sacks' perspective and will remind me as to what I'm thankful about inside my own life., A neurologist who gained his greatest renown for his ability to write about his profession in a thoroughly human way, Oliver Sacks died in August of 2015. His literary legacy includes these four short, personal, profound essays written in the last two years of his life as he contemplated the facts of age and dying.
Typically the essays are presented in chronological order, beginning with “Mercury, " in which Bags recounts his love of elements and atomic figures, allowing him to condition “at seventy-nine, I was gold. ” He enumerates some of the negative aspects of aging, such as slowing reactions, flagging energies, the tendency to forget names, and the looming fears of “dementia and stroke. ” Nevertheless he can still announce that he’s looking forward to being 80. “My Own Life” was composed after his diagnosis of a recurrence of fatal cancer. In this article he cites philosopher Jesse Hume, who wrote, at a similar juncture, “I now reckon upon a speedy dissolution. ” This individual harks back to his attraction to the elements in “My Periodic Desk. ” He notes that on his desk is a “little lead casket” for his 82nd birthday celebration, wonders if he will live to see bismuth (83), and feels almost sure he will skip the murderously radioactive 84th: polonium.
In “Sabbath, ” the last of the four writings, Sacks recalls growing up in a close-knit orthodox Jewish home, and particularly the rituals of Shabbos: “Kiddush associated with sweet red wine and honey cakes…” But this idyllic cultural picture was fractured when Sacks accepted to his father that he had sexual thoughts for friends. His mommy shrieked at him, making him hate religion. Departing home, he struggled with habit to amphetamines, but later found stability and solace in the job that inspired his book AWAKENINGS.
Thus commenced a “lonely but deeply satisfying, almost monkish existence. ” Bags devoted himself to the case histories of his and other patients, those whose unique maladies, always presented with respect, even reverence, provided material for popular books like TYPICALLY THE MAN WHO MISTOOK THEIR WIFE FOR A HAT and SEEING VOICES. Much later, Sacks was inspired by a cousin to visit Israel and then celebrate Sabbath with his orthodox relatives --- “a ceased world, a moment outside time. ”
Within the certainty of approaching death, “Sabbath” proves with the author’s desire that the “seventh day of one’s life” will bring longed-for peace and rest.
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott, I read Gratitude as soon as I received it, and will read it again, over and over. It truly is especially comforting to someone moving through their later years. Oliver Sacks always had a special place in my heart..... a beautiful, brilliant, tender soul. He'll be missed., giving five superstars for content, but I was taken aback when this arrived - it's a very very small slim book. When you look at product details it indeed says it's sixty four (small) pages, but I hadn't noticed. You should buy and read, but be prepared when you've spent for a hardcover pamphlet..., I read this book to determine if it was suitable to give to my buddy, a retired Oncology and hospice nurse who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I failed to know if I should give a book about dying to someone who is dying. But this book isn't really about dying, though the creator mentions it easily. It is about having existed a good life and having earned a relax, which my friend also offers done. I hope it will be a comfort., A overly well done leaving you writing about death. Inspite of the content of the book, gifted writer Dr. Bags was able to convey peace and nurturing, in a very elegant and simple to read way. This specific book could easily be a well-intentioned gift idea to a loved one who is facing certain dying from an advanced medical illness, thus providing and potentially creating a powerful sense of connection to life, a re-evaluation of its meaning (specific to that individual), and a gentle transition to approval and preparation., Sacks was obviously a most interesting human being and writer, but this collection of essays is so short it turned out disappointing for me. It performed lead me to his memoir, On the Move, which much more substantial and a compelling read. Luckily, he was a legendary and talented writer, so there is much other work to choose from., A summing up from a remarkable man who existed a remarkable life. This individual expresses gratitude in the face of upcoming dying. A very short read, perhaps 1/2 hour, or more if you take time for reflection.
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