This is the last day of August and the August Break project. I quite liked the August Break idea, it gave me a reason to publish a post almost every day which was also interesting in terms of looking back and recording our daily lives.
Today I also want to write about the book I mentioned earlier 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' by Mark Haddon.
The book is about a boy named Cristopher (15) who has Asperger's Syndrome. Christopher is the narrator of his own murder mystery novel and I think the Guardian review is so right; it's "a funny as well as a sad book..."
While reading, I realized that I was quite ignorant about this "syndrome." I knew a few things about autism, because there're many foundations (even in Turkey) that try to raise awareness and help & support these kids but seeing the world through the eyes of somebody actually having this "syndrome" was interesting, shocking, informative, educating and thought-provoking.
Christopher hates the colors yellow and brown and avoids them as much as he can (doesn't wear anything yellow/brown, doesn't eat anything, doesn't want to look at anything, etc). He hates lies and thinks even metaphors are not telling the truth, and, therefore, logically, are lies. He doesn't like crowds, busy places and people touching him. He's very good in maths, though. And also physics (he's the only boy at his school for "special needs" who gets an A grade at A-level Maths). That makes one think if this syndrome is actually a right brain/left brain kind of problem (because he also lacks social and emotional skills). ???
Here're some excerpts from the book:
"...it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty."
"And I like timetables because I like to know when everything is going to happen....
And at the weekend I make up my own timetable and write it down on a piece of cardboard and I put it up on the wall. And it says things like Feed Toby, or Do maths or Go to the shop to buy sweets. And that is one of the reasons why I don't like France because when people are on holiday they don't have a timetable and I had to get Mother and Father to tell me every morning exactly what we were going to do that day to make me feel better."
"And people who believe in God think God has put human beings on the earth because they think human beings are the best animal, but human beings are just an animal and they will evolve into another animal, and that animal will be cleverer and it will put human beings into a zoo, like we put chimpanzees and gorillas into a zoo. Or human beings will catch a disease and die out or they will make too much pollution and kill themselves, and then there will only be insects in the world and they will be the best animals."
"People say that Orion is called Orion because Orion was a hunter and the constellation looks like a hunter with a club and a bow and arrow, like this (image of Orion here). But this is really silly because it is just stars, and you could join up the dots in any way you wanted, and you could make it look like a lady with an umbrella who is waving, or the coffee maker which Mrs Shears has, which is from Italy, with a handle and steam coming out, or like a dinosaur (image of the dots joined up to be a dinosaur). And there aren't any lines in space, so you could join bits of Orion to bits of Lepus or Taurus or Gemini and say that they were a constellation called The Brunch of Grapes or Jesus or The Bicycle (except that they didn't have bicycles in Roman and Greek times which was when they called Orion Orion). And anyway, Orion is not a hunter or a coffee maker or a dinosaur. It is just Betelgeuse and Bellatrix and Alnilam and Rigel and 17 other stars I don't know the names of. And they are nuclear explosions billions of miles away. And that is the truth."
It might sound ridiulous but when I finished the book I had this strange thought that I might have a very "light" version of this Asperger's Syndrome.
Because 1) I also hate the colors yellow & brown (not that I can't touch anything that color...or wear...but they're my least favorite ones...only brown clothes are ok). 2) I hate crowded, busy places and also people not respecting my personal space and touching me by accident. 3) I was not necessarily brilliant at maths but usually the best in the class. 4) I was not very communicative as a child and wanted to be left alone most of the time. 5) I need my timetables. Otherwise, I feel lost. And I have to admit that this is why I sometimes can't enjoy holidays as much as I would like to. I know that this sounds funny but the degree of how much I related to the boy while reading was much higher than my usual degree of empathy while reading any other book before. Maybe we all carry some of these features in one way or another???
Here's one for instance.
What I loved most, though, was the pureness...the naiveness...the directness...and the simplicity.
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