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Oliver Sacks on 9/11 and the Paradoxical Power of Music to Bring Solace by Making Room for Our Pain

 

brainpickings.org – Maria Popova

“Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.”

A science-storyteller like the late, great, sorely missed Oliver Sacks (July 9, 1933–August 30, 2015) comes about once a century, if we’re lucky. Throughout his long career as a working scientist who bewitched the popular imagination with beautiful writing, he frequently turned to music as his storytelling muse. It was a relationship that once saved his life and culminated in his magnificent book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (public library) — an immensely insightful exploration of the physiological and psychological phenomena behind the all too common human impulse that once compelled the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay to profess: “Without music I should wish to die.”

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