Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

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Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was moved professionally. Students of my past, present and future will benefit from my exploration of a compelling book. I dabbled in Proust a little to remind me of the parallels that were explored. If you teach struggling students of any age, this book validates what you know to be true. It gives hope ,inspiration and an intellectual buzz.
TrialofK More than 1 year ago
I bought this book with expectation of a book that is scientifically factual. Instead I got a long winded book that contradicts itself and justifies the abilities of Maryanne Wolf's dyslexic son. On page 20 she states "Learning to read begins the first time an infant is held and read a story. How often this happens, or fails to happen, in the first five years of childhood turns out to be one of the best predictors of later reading." On page 96 she states nearly the opposite "the many efforts to teach a child to read before four or five years of age are biologically precipitate and potentially counterproductive for many children." Then we learn her son is dyslexic on page 21. On the very next page we then learn that she believes Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and no less than Leonardo Da Vinci and August Rodin among others are also Dyslexic. My problem is that Dyslexia cannot be post mortem diagnosed. She states "What is it about the dyslexic brain that seems linked in some people to unparalleled creativity in their professions, which often involve design, spacial skills and the recognition of patterns?" So we have come from scientific studies to personal observation and unproven hypothesis, all to make her son into something special for being dyslexic. Chapter 8 is all about people with dyslexia, including her son, being superior to the rest of us without dyslexia. If only I could be like Albert Einstein but sadly I am not dyslexic. Maybe Thomas Edison, again I have no chance since I am not dyslexic, even though there is only conjecture that they could have been dyslexic. Finally we find out that there is an unexpected (by whom?) ability to read upside down or in a mirror which "(as my son and Leonardo da Vinci are known to have done)" So Ms. Wolfs son is an intellectual and creative elite who could easily be compared to Leonardo da Vinci. Without this book I would not have known my non-dyslexic inferiority to her son. By the way I can read upside down and in a mirror, and I believe a great many people can do this. I must say I have nothing against her son who has such condescending parents who are "long accustomed to being surprised by Ben;" Of course they have him believing that the best predictor to dyslexia is creativity and success. Ms Wolf writes on page 197 "as a researcher I'm not altogether comfortable writing about my hunches." But here is an entire book filled with hunches of evolutionary supposition, post mortem diagnoses of dyslexia, and assumptions of creative superiority within people who have dyslexia (which is linked to the impoverished who suffer from dyslexia disproportionally). A disappointing book, unless you want to feel good about being dyslexic or having to deal with dyslexia without scientific support.