NABOKV-L post 0005210, Sun, 25 Jun 2000 09:23:21 -0700

Re: Nabokov and Autism (fwd)
From: Jennifer Parsons <>

Continuing on the discussion of this silly article, here was a post on
the NYT forum:

"This past Sunday's NYT magazine, from an article on Asperger's syndrome
(with Glenn Gould as supposed posterboy):

'Other scholars have retroactively applied the Asperger's label to
oddball intellectuals ranging from Vladimir Nabokov to Béla Bartok to
Ludwig Wittgenstein. Nabokov's hypertrophied vocabulary and obsession
with butterflies, some say, may qualify him for the disorder (though an
equally focused obsession with nymphs seems somewhat less
incriminating). Such claims may be dubious, and probably infuriating to
lepidopterists, but the argument is seductive to many: could the very
qualities that make Asperger's people so strange lie at the root of
their peculiar talents?'

Does DSM-IV have a category for Fatuous Overreaching Diagnosis?"

drjhaan "

Galya Diment wrote:
> From:
> It may take even less to make one say "We" or "1984": it is easy to imagine
> times when parents will be "encouraged" to administer medication to curb
> the early signs of "precosity", to prevent developing signs of
> "asocialness," passivity, and non-mixing, much as they now treat
> "hyperactivity" or "lack of attention".
> >From: mary krimmel <>
> >
> >It takes only the first paragraph of Kurt Johnson's report on the
> >"Asperger's syndrome" article to make me say "Luzhin".
> >
> >Mary Krimmel
> >
> >
> >>From: "Johnson, Kurt" <>
> >>
> >>Re: Nabokov and Autism--
> >>"The Little Professor Syndrome"
> >>
> >>New York Times Magazine, June 18, 2000, p. 54
> >>by Lawrence Osborne
> >>
> >>This article is about "Asperger's syndrome" a recently diagnosed form of
> >>autism, according to the article. I suppose the controversial matter is the
> >>mention of Nabokov in this regard (I'll get to that). It appears that
> >>Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism indicated by extreme precosity in
> >>youth, combined with various physical symptoms (extreme sensitivity to noise
> >>etc.), general lack of social skills, restricted and unusual patterns of
> >>behavior and interests, often connected to striking precosity in languages,
> >>which blossoms in adulthood to remarkable, if not sometimes strange,
> >>talents, interests and interest/obsessions, manifestations of genius in
> >>restricted areas etc.
> >...
> >...