Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brain Damage Insights

Oliver Sachs’ new book about how music and the brain interact continues his usual mix of fascinating insights into medicine and graceful writing. At one point, he describes patients who suffer a stroke incapacitating their ‘left brain’ cognitive centers, only to suddenly become transcendent artists. The first thing I thought of was this: THE CRITIC, that brain obligato that insists nothing I write is any good, must be in the ‘left brain.’ How I wish she would shut up, and how beautifully I think I could write if she did. But I don’t really want to give up my ability to analyze either. I just want to be selective.