I am a gifted autistic person who was misdiagnosed and sedated for more than 30 years. Finally correctly diagnosed in 2017, at 53, taken off the medications. Dr. Sacks's work has been a source of connection and identification with humans somewhat like me. I've always felt not only bizarre, but alone. Reading Dr. Sacks's work helped me with both, and gave me an island of safety in the bewildering language world of other human beings. I am so grateful.
Thank you for the New Yorker article. It encapsulates my thinking as well, but alas after of 10 years of focussed study of climate change, my thinking is it is our final hour.
I found Dr.Sacks an inspiration and, as a professional artist, always imagined one day to approach him with my big Fine Art idea. He was wonderful, wise and irreplaceable. Without Dr.Sacks I had no idea who might take an interest in it (it seemed like the sort of project he'd really enjoy). My wife is a Psychiatrist, my sister a Dean of a notable Canadian university and so on, but none have heard of this idea before or feel qualified to participate. At least it appears to be a unique and original concept. So, after some time working on, it I've decided to post an entry in this guest book in the hope that a reader or Foundation representative might respond and point me towards someone else. If anyone knows of a neurologist, psychologist or similar academic that might like to take a look at a project focussed in the Venn overlap between art, philosophy and the sciences of the mind please pass them my details. Thank you.
When I first read Dr. Sachs I came upon a paragraph where he described people who are born with perfect pitch. I am now researching this, but cannot find where in his books he talks about it. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can lead me to this discussion. VKn
I first heard of Oliver Sacks in my AP Biology class for an extra credit assignment in high school. I chose to read Island of the Colorblind and I have been infatuated with him since. Here I am, a junior in college studying psychology, still just as starstruck with him as I was almost 3 years ago. This man has been such a driving force of motivation for me. He inspires me to be curious, ask questions beyond course expectations, and take my education into my own hands. God bless this man and may he rest in peace.
You are the man responsible for my own "Awakenings" in the 90s, and Robin portrayed the soul of a sensitive heart. We are so very lucky to have had you both, I hope you are having a good laugh in Heaven together. You are 2 expressions of God the World will never see again, we miss you greatly...
Now I go back to sleep again.
Thank you Oliver and Robin!
“There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.”
So said G K Chesterton, and there is no doubt that Dr Sacks was a great man who made every man feel great. We will all miss his wisdom, compassion and sheer enthusiasm for life. His insight into the way the brain works was miraculous.
He leaves a great legacy behind him and is irreplaceable.
I watched him on Youtube at a TED talk, "What hallucination reveals about our mind", and from the first word, i was hooked...by his voice, by the way he is telling the story of his patient, by his sincerity and his smile, by his profound expertise ...i wished i was a doctor like him...i wished i was a student of him or his grandchild.
I decided i should send him an e-mail and tell him how i felt about him....
In the meantime, Youtube automatically moved to the next Ted talk but i returned back to his page and started reading the comments...Then, i learnt he passed away already...i felt like i lost my grandfather...He seemed so sweet i wish i knew him before...i am so sorry :( God bless you Oliver Sacks and thank you for spending some time on this planet and being such a good example....Lots of love...
I have followed Dr Sacks for many many years. I owe much of my understanding and work ethic to him. A true hero and inspiration in Neurological rehabilitation, sadly missed. My best wishes Shirley
I met Oliver Sacks's books very late. Thank you for touching my life! Every case seems to open new horizons in my mind. Moreover, the endless learning and teaching energy in Oliver Sacks has impressed me a lot. I cannot wait to read more books.
Your site is a template for those who want content of quality and relevance, I am already a reader.
I was so moved when reading On the Move I often closed the book, put it down, and turned to my partner absorbed in her knitting,and with eyes moist, told her how wonderful this book was. She gave me a huge smile every time.
I have only read Hallucinations of Oliver's collection because I was looking for answers for some of my own experiences that 'clinicians' wrote off as 'delusional' and other psychiatric jargon. Oliver is one of those writers who, by fortune of having grown up with a wonderful caring Jewish family and followed in his parents footsteps--GETS IT- and allows himself to be fully human and present for those he seeks to help, regardless of whether the 'good old boys club' approve or not. I believe in Judaism is is called 'TIKKUN OLAM" which translates 'to repair the world'and a man like Oliver Sacks surely asked himself every day 'what good to I do in the world?" I am now more pumped to write a book myself perhaps in Oliver's style if I can about my own personal experiences in my treatment since being diagnosed with bipolar illness (which I do not necessarily agree with). My experience of trying to resolve a conflict with a mental health support society where I am a member that borders on stupidity, arrogance, condescension and much personal bias by people I trusted. I think when I read in On the Move about Oliver's father and his insistence of 'shem tov' (good solid character) this is the perspective I am going to write my book from.
Thank you so much for your books and being a fine human being, bless your soul, Oliver Sacks. I will be sure to read the rest of your books in future.
Being a medical student, i only reads course books because of lack of time. But your books and the comments below shows that i should read one of your book. looking for them at amazon to purchase one.
in the 60s oliver was doing his residency at ucla--I was in the grad program at usc--our common social and exercise place was the muscle beach weight lifting club--a place of many laughs and many pounds of iron lifted--I benched 440lbs--sacks squatted over 600lbs.--I THINK he approached an 800-but am not sure. when he finished his studies and went east a lot of us missed him. a few years back I had an exhibit at marlborough and tried to get him to the opening but no luck; UNFORTUNATELY I forgot olivers discomfort around crowded events
Hi, I've currently learned about Oliver Sacks due getting hallucinations of which no one has any clue how to treat. Life w/a killer whale rolling in 10 inches next to me in tide isn't fun. On the other hand I didn't know I could still run that fast. I know these things I see are not real, but the terror (or other) they can evoke is. Anyone with info links is appreciated. (Am seeing neurologists, going to see a opthamologist next week.}
I discovered about Oliver Sacks through the movie Awakenings which to this day remains one of my favourite films.
I enjoyed very much reading the book ' Insomniac City' as it reveals more of the sweet, honest, positive, uncompromising, and unique character Doct Sacks had.
Thanks for giving testimony of this lovely relationship and the beauty that has come out of it.
I recently read the Spanish version of On The Move. Me sentí muy identificado con el Dr Sacks, con el que creo compartir ante todo una gran curiosidad por la realidad y la vida, y especialmente con las pequeñas cosas que la componen. El modo en que recibimos y analizamos esa realidad es sin duda una manera importante de comprender qué es nuestra vida y cómo hacemos uso de ella. Me hizo especialmente gracia su desaliño con el vestido, cosa que comparto con él. También su tendencia a desconcentrarse. Si yo tuviera su inteligencia creo que podría haber hecho algo importante. Dice la Dra. Burnett que su objetivo principal es hacer algo importante por la humanidad. Ese debería ser nuestra meta de vida. Aunque ya falleciera hace unos años, quiero felicitar al Señor Sacks por su labor, por su experiencia vital y por su entusiasmo. Reconozco que para mí es ahora un ejemplo de vida. Gracias.
My favorite statement from Oliver Sacks is this one. I have printed it on a plaque that is mounted on the wall outside my office:
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
Hallucinations simply amazed me. To find an explanation for the puzzling experiences of childhood after all these years is so wonderful, as I have spent a lifetime trying to convince myself I was either nuts or imagined the whole thing. As a child I was able to hallucinate at will...as my own private video. My favourite was to bring forth an ad from the old `Scribners Magazine`` of people in lovely elegant clothes dancing to music drifting across my bedroom wall after bedtime. I saw them, heard the music ad was filled with delight. Also had a print of Loki on me bedroom wall I was terrrified of him because he used to reach out from the picture and beckon me to him. I was so scared I would go into his picture and never be seen again. I felt its evil. Thanks for letting me vent. I am now ninety five but these experiences are still as vivis as they were many years ago. Thanks for your light. Islay Wyckham
I have been inspired and moved by Oliver Sacks' great works. Reading his books sparked an interest in pursuing neuroscience as a career for me. While most 16-year-old girls would have a One Direction poster hanging up in their room, I have my 'On the Move' poster, a birthday present, proudly displayed in a place of honor. I am so excited to celebrate his life tomorrow, but it also brings great sadness on the anniversary of his passing. I deeply regret never being able to thank him for the influence he has had on my life. RIP, Doctor Sacks.