Oliver Sachs

“I don’t know enough to say whether a person is in possession of a disability, or a disability is in possession of a person. My point of departure either way in writing these portraits is that the person exists independent of the disability; not that it isn’t bound up with their being, but that the person exists independent of the meaning I (and society generally) ascribe to it, and that often the obstacle is the meaning we assign to the disability standing in for the person. I entered into this project with the belief that the person is larger and more significant. Whether possessed or possessing, the person defines the disability more than it defines the person. The question then is, who is this person? And hence the importance of a portrait“

Oliver Sacks, in his introduction to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

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