Radiolab at NPR this weekend, driving to and from a volleyball tournament, so I bring you two books people are reading that involve the lack of language:
1) A Man Without Words, by Susan Schaller, about a man deaf from birth who read the world visually but who did not, when she met him, comprehend the idea of language. He could mimic the sign language she was using as she learned to be an interpreter but without understanding it or even what it was. He was in total isolation from words.
2) My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor, about her experience and recovery from a stroke, and also the utter joy she felt when the stroke deprived her completely of words.
Here is a Radiolab link that brings these "words" programs together for you to click on. And here is a link to the Schaller book at University of California Press, and to Dr. Jill's website, where you can click all over the place, including Oprah. I had just attended a little farewell gathering for a friend, where people were talking about Dr. Jill's book, so encountering both books made it seem like the universe was calling my name.
But Radiolab has dealt with that, too, talking earlier this month to writer Paul Auster and animation expert Michael Barrier, in The Universe Knows My Name. But, as some of the comments show, some of their listeners did not appreciate either the whimsy or implied mysticism of that particular program.
Which brings me to my question:
When my current "What are you reading, and why?" project ends, what would you like me to do next? That is, can you tolerate my whimsy and random coincidii? Do you want more of the same, but with variations or a particular focus? More of what other people are reading, or more of what I'm reading? Random bookshop conversations? More poetry reviews, more poetry interviews, more poem explications? More musical comedy? More of my own personal comedy? (It might make you roll your eyes.)
During the next week or so, please comment and say what you've enjoyed here and what you'd like to see more of. Or suggest a new topic or focus you'd like to see me handle. At some point, I could make a little list and let you "vote" more formally...er, still pretty informally.
And/or my own whimsy may still take over, as I've crowned myself Queen of Synchronicity.