Erik Graff's Reviews > The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul

The Mind's I by Daniel C. Dennett
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May 18, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: philosophy
Recommended to Erik by: Natalie Jackson
Recommended for: everyone

I was given this book as a gift from one of the most interesting persons I've ever known.

During the period before entering Loyola University Chicago and one semester into attending there I worked at a cafe/bookstore across the street from its Lake Shore Campus. It had been my hangout for years previously as the second floor location fronted the east with large windows, making the woodsy place sunny and warm. By the early eighties I was pretty well known there.

The way one met people was usually by asking the person next to you what s/he was reading. Presumably that's how Natalie and I met. In any case, we talked a lot. She was unusually well-read and earnest about much of her studying because she was, she told me, episodically insane.

This was all very interesting to talk about. In a few weeks, however, I saw it happen: intense head pain followed by disorientation. I probably took her to the hospital at least four times.

Years later it was discovered that her problem was water retention associated with her cycle. When other women would discharge, fluid would build up within her. The increased pressure in the brain would lead to the symptoms. The simple cure: water pills.

To grow up feeling different and inferior, out-of-control, to think oneself prone to insanity, was character building in Natalie's case. She was a pretty girl and could have become devoted to partying and dating. Instead, she had become unusually serious, thoughtful and, to me, fascinating.

Some time after giving me this book, she married, had a baby...then died of a brain aneurism. She was twenty-five.

The book, incidentally, was excellent and well-chosen.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 1, 1983 – Finished Reading
May 18, 2009 – Shelved
May 18, 2009 – Shelved as: philosophy

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Abbey (new)

Abbey Wow! Your story of Natalie should be written as a novel, or at least a novella. It's one of those human stories that touches on universal themes of self-perception and the brevity of life. If you write it, I'll be the first in line at your book signing.

message 2: by Tom (new)

Tom You know i keep telling eg he has a book in him. He's got tons of material. Needs a good editor maybe.

message 3: by Pierre (new)

Pierre Fortier Nice story. Touching. Is the book good?

message 4: by Aiden (new) - added it

Aiden Interesting story. You should expand on it and flesh it out.

Erik Graff Pierre,
Like any collection of essays this one has content of varying quality. Unlike most collections, however, it contains both fictional and non-fictional contents. Personally, I liked most of it.

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