Friday, 29 July 2016

Oliver Sacks or Margaret Atwood

I'm completely at loss as to which author to choose for this brief, as usual, I can't make up my damn mind. I've always struggled to settle on a subject for a brief because I always think that i'm going to choose the wrong thing, and then my work won't be good enough and then I'll get bored of it all and then I'll just sit and struggle my way towards deadline as usual.

Oliver Sacks is so interesting to me, I love reading about neurological cases, the brain fascinates me and I always find myself enjoying reading/watching things that give me a bit more insight into how our minds work. Also, Oliver Sacks seems to be such an intelligent and kind mannered person, with a deep understanding and reflection of how our minds work. He was the first author I looked into, the one that immediately grabbed me BUT I worry that I won't be able to translate what I'm reading and learning about his life and work into something visual??

Maragaret Atwood's poetry is beautiful. I have yet to read any of her novels but after researching and looking into themes throughout her work I feel like I'd be quite interested in reading a couple of her novels. I've really enjoyed reading through her poetry and it's already started to conjure up little ideas in my head of how I could visually explore her work. BUT I worry that as I'm completely new to Atwood and her work maybe I'll get bored of her??

I suck at making decisions on things and really want to get a move on with this research project, I'm just struggling with who to settle on. I think I'm going to do a little more research on both authors and just make a decision and make the author work for me.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

About the Author - Carl Sagan

Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science populariser and science communicator. He is best known for his contributions to the scientific research of extraterrestrial life.

Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space: the Pioneer Plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them.

The Voyager Golden Record - Contains 115 images including a calibration image along with a variety of natural sounds including noises made by thunder, waves etc and animals. It also features musicals selections from different countries and era's and spoken greetings in 59 different languages. 

The Pioneer Plaque - a pair of gold-anodised aluminium plaques which were placed onboard the 1972 Pioneer 10 and 1973 Pioneer 11 spacecraft featuring a pictorial message incase either spacecraft was intercepted by extraterrestrial life. The plaque included a hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen, figures of a man and woman, relative position of the sun to the centre of the galaxy and 14 pulsars, the solar system and a silhouette of the spacecraft. 

He is the author/editor of more than 20 books including:
. The Dragons of Eden
. Broca's Brain
. Pale blue Dot
. Cosmos
. Contact

I love space, I love the idea that there's so much more than this little life on this little planet. I think thats what attracted me to Sagan the most really, just a chance to explore and delve deeper into space and astrology and hopefully learn some interesting things along the way.

About the Author - Margaret Atwood

Margaret Eleanor Atwood is  a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist and environmental activist. She is the author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays with themes within her work ranging from art and its creation to the dangers of ideology and sexual politics.

Feminism - Atwood often portrays female characters dominated by patriarchy in her novels and also sheds light on women's social oppression as a result of patriarchal ideology. Atwood does not class herself as a feminist writer and states that the label can only be applied to writers who work consciously within the framework of the feminist movement

Speculative/Social Science Fiction - Atwood resists the idea that some of her novels are science fiction, suggesting instead that they are speculative fiction, things/ideas 'which could actually happen'

Animals - Atwood repeatedly makes observations about our relationship with animals in her with reference to comparing people to animals and eating meat.

Longpen - Atwood is also the inventor of the Longpen, a robotic writing technology which would allow her to conduct her book tours without being physically present.

Notable works include:
.The Handmaids Tales
. Cat's Eye
. Oryx and Crake
. The Edible Woman

I was drawn to researching into Margaret Atwood as the themes throughout her work interested me as I was reading through them. I would also like to learn more about Atwood's role in environmental activism and try and get my hands on some of her poetry to have a look through.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

About the Author - Oliver Sacks

"The Poet Laureate of Medicine" 

Dr. Oliver Wolf Sacks was a British neurologist, naturalist and author. His books contain a wealth of narrative detail about his experiences with patients and how they coped with their conditions as well as exploring and explaining how the brain deals with perception, memory and individuality. 

Oliver Sacks is set known for his collection of neurological case histories about his patients disorders and their experience of dealing with them. These include: 
. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat
. Tales of Music and The Brain
. An Anthropologist on Mars
. Awakenings
. Musicophillia

The books "Awakenings" tells the story of a group of extraordinary patients Dr Sacks encountered whilst working as a consulting neurologist for the Beth Abraham Hospital in The Bronx. The book recounts the life histories of a group of survivors of the 1920s sleepy sickness, encephalitis lethargica, who had been unable to move on their own for decades. His treatment of those patients became the basis of Sacks's book. The book inspired the play 'A Kind of Alaska' by Harold Pinter and was the basis for Oscar nominated feature film 'Awakenings' starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. 

I was instantly fascinated by Oliver Sacks as soon as I started reading into his work and his life. I'm pretty interested in learning about how our minds work and how the brain functions so stuff like this is right up my street! 

I've already ordered the book 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat' even if I don't choose to focus on Sacks for this project I'm really interested into reading some of his work! Also, Awakenings is definitely, definitely worth the watch if you haven't already seen it!