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DISABILITY-RESEARCH  March 2004

DISABILITY-RESEARCH March 2004

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Subject:

Re: "The Curious Incident of theDog in the Night Time"

From:

Mitzi Waltz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mitzi Waltz <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 16 Mar 2004 12:21:27 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (158 lines)

m99m, thanks for making me laugh this morning!
btw, I feel it's ok, even accurate, for
"Christopher" to use non-PC terminology when
talking/thinking about his classmates. Kids can be
cruel or self-centred, and that includes kids with
"special needs." My own son (who has a diagnosis of
high-functioning autism) went through a phase of
calling kids at school "retard," having picked up
the word from some $%$%. This required a long
explanation of why a) it was a bad thing to do and
b) it was an especially bad thing for him to do,
having been on the receiving end of such words and
knowing how it feels. There have certainly been
times when he was annoyed with things classmates or
friends did that had to do with their disability. I
can remember him coming home from a summer programme
upset because almost all of the other students were
non-verbal, leaving him feeling that there was no
one to talk to. He has a general sense of connection
with anyone who has a disability, which is kind of
interesting, but still probably wouldn't cope well
with faeces in the toilets.
It would have been nice to see some character
development around this isue in "Christopher," but
one doesn't write fiction to prove a point or to
educate--the characters get into your head and come
out the way they will, really. I know the author is
a former school assistant/care worker, and I'd bet
some of what he wrote came from his own efforts to
imagine what his life might have been like had he
been in the shoes of one of his clients. Which means
the book is more about the author than about a boy
with Asperger syndrome, in the same way most novels
reflect their authors far more than reality.
-- Mitzi

----- Original Message -----
From: m99m <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 11:01 am
Subject: Re: "The Curious Incident of theDog in the
Night Time"

> .
> The author is Mark Haddon.
>
> The Italian title is "Lo strano caso del cane
ucciso a mezzanotte",
> whichis a little more informative than the English
title, i.e. it
> says the dog
> was bumped off in the middle of the night.
>
> (If they had used such an explicit title in UK,
Tony would have
> declared a
> People's Day of Mourning for the Dog, and Blunkett
would have
> declared a
> National State of Emergency and had every dog's
paw prints
> recorded, and
> lost on a computer. A Scientific Commission of
Enquiry might also
> have been
> set up to discover the precise timing of the
death, to report
> within five
> years).
>
> The book - a work of fiction - is related in the
supposed voice of
> a 15-
> year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, attending a
school for
> children with
> special needs. (Non-disabled children therefore
shout "Special
> Needs!" as
> an insult. If UK gets a bit more modern,
presumably they will shout
> "Yah-ha
> Included!")
>
> The boy's own remarks about children with physical
disabilities,
> perhapsarticulating a covert public opinion, are
rather
> contemptuous. However, he
> is not portrayed as an expert on PC terminology.
His views might
> have been
> influenced by the fact that he does not like the
smell or sight of
> otherpeople's excrement, and therefore cannot use
the pupils'
> toilet at school,
> which is liberally smeared with this product.
>
> The language used by adults throughout the book is
of a kind that
> could not
> legally have been published in UK 40 years ago.
The religious
> cursing may
> have been tidied up in the Italian version, and
the film version (in
> progress) might, I suppose, use less of the
procreational epithets
> for the
> American market.
>
> People with Asperger's who have, for years, been
irritated by the
> Rain Man
> being the standard reference point, can now look
forward to 30
> years of
> being "understood" by complete strangers in terms
of Christopher
> Boone, the
> supposed Asperger hero of the Curious Incident.
(However, in the
> film he'll
> probably make Professor of Math at Cambridge,
which he doesn't in
> the book).
>
> Although the book has sold well in the UK, close
textual analysis
> has been
> delayed because everyone's copy has been loaned
out by their
> partner to
> someone at the office whose cousin has a child who
might have
> Asperger's.
> m99m
>
> ________________End of message______________________
>
> Archives and tools for the Disability-Research
Discussion List
> are now located at:
>
> www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/disability-research.html
>
> You can JOIN or LEAVE the list from this web page.
>

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