The month after I saw Mrs O'M. there was an article in the New York Times entitled 'Did Shostakovich Have a Secret?' The 'secret' of Shostakovich, it was suggested-by a Chinese neurologist, Dr Dajue Wang-was the presence of a metallic splinter, a mobile shell-fragment, in his brain, in the temporal horn of the left ventricle. Shostakovich was very reluctant, apparently, to have this removed:
Since the fragment had been there, he said, each time he leaned his head to one side he could hear music. His head was filled with melodies-different each time-which he then made use of when composing.
X-rays allegedly showed the fragment moving around when Shostakovich moved his head, pressing against his 'musical' temporal lobe, when he tilted, producing an infinity of melodies which his genius could use. Dr R.A. Henson, editor of Music and the Brain (1977), expressed deep but not absolute scepticism: 'I would hesitate to affirm that it could not happen.

Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, 1985

@темы: sacks, oliver, s, psychology, music, english: anglo-american, 20