By Susan Schaller
For greater than 1 / 4 of a century, Ildefonso, a Mexican Indian, lived in overall isolation, set except the remainder of the area. He wasn't a political prisoner or a social recluse, he used to be easily born deaf and had by no means been taught even the main simple language. Susan Schaller, then a twenty-four-year-old graduate scholar, encountered him in a category for the deaf the place she were despatched as an interpreter and the place he sat remoted, seeing that he knew no signal language. She stumbled on him evidently clever and sharply observant yet not able to speak, and he or she felt forced to deliver him to a comprehension of phrases. The booklet vividly conveys the problem, the frustrations, and the pleasure of starting the brain of a congenitally deaf individual to the idea that of language. This moment version encompasses a new bankruptcy and afterword.
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Extra info for A Man Without Words (2nd Edition)
I would enter and explore the alien mind and life of a wordless man. When only three chairs separated me from this frontier, a curly-haired, bouncy Mexican woman stepped assertively in front of me, making me hold her open workbook so she could use her two free arms to pop questions at me like a popcorn popper. She was the speediest signer I had ever seen. "Good morning," I signed with a sleepy face, hoping 31 A MAN WITHOUT WORDS to slow her down. I introduced myself and asked her to repeat her questions.
We were both incredulous; Ildefonso was sane after twenty-seven years of a mental isolation 35 A MAN WITHOUT WORDS worse than any solitary confinement in prison. His cell had open windows: he could experience everything in the world—touch it, feel it, taste it, watch it—but only in total isolation. No one had ever agreed or disagreed with him, mirrored, confirmed, or argued with his impressions. He had only his own mind to connect experiences, find patterns, imagine meanings, and fit together semantic puzzles.
John had spent all day with a cadaver and was excited about the study of a live person. Since he planned to take up psychiatry, he was especially curious about Ildefonso's apparently good mental health, manifested by his continuing interest in others and attempts to interact. We were both incredulous; Ildefonso was sane after twenty-seven years of a mental isolation 35 A MAN WITHOUT WORDS worse than any solitary confinement in prison. His cell had open windows: he could experience everything in the world—touch it, feel it, taste it, watch it—but only in total isolation.
A Man Without Words (2nd Edition) by Susan Schaller