A Journey Round My Skull

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New York Review of Books, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
13 Reviews
The distinguished Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy was sitting in a Budapest café, wondering whether to write a long-planned monograph on modern man or a new play, when he was disturbed by the roaring—so loud as to drown out all other noises—of a passing train. Soon it was gone, only to be succeeded by another. And another. Strange, Karinthy thought, it had been years since Budapest had streetcars. Only then did he realize he was suffering from an auditory hallucination of extraordinary intensity.

What in fact Karinthy was suffering from was a brain tumor, not cancerous but hardly benign, though it was only much later—after spells of giddiness, fainting fits, friends remarking that his handwriting had altered, and books going blank before his eyes—that he consulted a doctor and embarked on a series of examinations that would lead to brain surgery. Karinthy’s description of his descent into illness and his observations of his symptoms, thoughts, and feelings, as well as of his friends’ and doctors’ varied responses to his predicament, are exact and engrossing and entirely free of self-pity. A Journey Round My Skull is not only an extraordinary piece of medical testimony, but a powerful work of literature—one that dances brilliantly on the edge of extinction.
  

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Review: A Journey Round My Skull

User Review  - Barbara - Goodreads

Extremely entertaining, clever... Read full review

Review: A Journey Round My Skull

User Review  - John - Goodreads

very interesting first-hand perspective read from someone who survived early modern brain surgery. karinthy's story traces his early symptoms through to the actual surgery. his metaphors and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
vii
The Invisible Train
9
An Amateur Film Show
15
Some Short Weeks and One Long Moment
26
The Ostrich Defends Itself
37
A Meeting by Deathbed
48
The Eyes Give Warning
60
The Ghost Train
73
The Verdict
149
The Place of a Skull
160
The Die is Cast
172
My Prisons
184
Olivecrona
195
Pulsating Stars
204
Avdelning 13
214
Addis Ababa
227

A Gesture in the WindowPane
84
In the Sanatorium
97
IO The Gyulas Hold a Council
108
Return to the Scene of the Crime
121
Visitors
133
Death Tempts Me
144
Chrysanthemums
238
An Experiment with Time
249
24 Half a Dog Running to Trelleborg
259
Let His Bonds Be Loosened
269
Crusoes Island
280
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Frigyes Karinthy (1887—1938) was a Hungarian author, playwright, poet, journalist, and translator. He was the first proponent of the six degrees of separation concept in his 1929 short story, L‡ncszemek (Chains). Karinthy is known in English for his novellas Voyage to Faremido and Capillaria. Father of Ferenc Karinthy, he remains one Hungary’s most popular writers.

Oliver Sacks practices neurology in New York City. His books include Awakenings, Uncle Tungsten, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

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