The Allusionist: 58. Eclipse
June 19, 2017 3:25 PM - Subscribe

It's August 2007. Lauren Marks is a 27-year-old actor and a PhD student, spending the month directing a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She's in a bar, standing onstage, performing a karaoke duet of 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'...and then a blood vessel in her brain bursts.
posted by bq (6 comments total)
This was very evocative and I enjoyed the score very much.
posted by bq at 3:27 PM on June 19, 2017

I found it scary how much profound the effect of aphasia was on her internal identity and not just her ability to communicate. And of course sad and also, as she pointed out, a mercy, since she couldn't recognize what she was missing. Being intelligent without having language, even in thoughts, is such an alien concept.

I've never seen aphasia or other language injuries presented that way though as she says there are many differences.

Amazing story and amazing person.
posted by mark k at 10:26 PM on June 19, 2017

oh my god. I remember when this happened, unless it happened to two different people in the humanities around the same time. Everybody heard about it from a long chain of acquaintances of acquaintances. like some awful urban legend invented to terrify grad students with the worst thing that could happen to one of them without killing them, but real.

very glad she recovered to the point of having written a book.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:02 PM on June 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Woah - I listened to the first few episodes of The Allusionist when it came out because I love Answer Me This, but I was sort of meh on it and dropped it. But based on this post I just scrolled back through the feed, and it looks like it's gotten awesome. Re-subscribed!
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:59 AM on June 20, 2017

Just listened, and yeah this episode was awesome!
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:13 AM on June 20, 2017

Indeed brilliant. Twenty-five years ago, I watched my eloquent, thoughtful grandfather slowly lose his language to dementia and had some fascinating talks with him when he was still verbal enough to articulate what he was experiencing. I have a good friend now who suffered a traumatic brain injury some twenty years ago in a car accident (in which he was the only survivor) and although he made a thorough recovery, he has given me some great insights into the experience of having parts of your self just... not be there anymore.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:38 PM on June 25, 2017

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