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ABOUT the man with a shattered world pdf

Russian psychologist A. R. Luria presents a compelling portrait of a man’s heroic struggle to regain his mental faculties. A soldier named Zasetsky, wounded in the head at the battle of Smolensk in 1943, suddenly found himself in a frightening world: he could recall his childhood but not his recent past; half his field of vision had been destroyed; he had great difficulty speaking, reading, and writing.

Much of the book consists of excerpts from Zasetsky’s own diaries. Laboriously, he records his memories in order to reestablish his past and to affirm his existence as an intelligent being. Luria’s comments and interpolations provide a valuable distillation of the theory and techniques that guided all of his research. His “digressions” are excellent brief introductions to the topic of brain structure and its relation to higher mental functions.


  • Foreword to the 1987 Edition [Oliver Sacks]
  • Concerning the Book and Its Author
  • From the Author
  • The Past
  • War
  • After Being Wounded
  • The Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Our First Meeting
  • Excerpt from Case History No. 3712
  • A Brief Summary of Brain Anatomy (The First Digression)
  • First Steps in a Shattered World
  • His Vision
  • His Body
  • Space
  • Reading
  • A Student Again
  • Writing, the Turning Point
  • “The Story of a Terrible Brain Injury”
  • Why Did He Write?
  • “My World Has No Memories”
  • “My Memories Came Back from the Wrong End”
  • The Peculiar Features of His “Speech-Memory”
  • On Recollecting Words (The Second Digression)
  • Restricted to Undeciphered Images, Disembodied Ideas
  • Grammatical Constructions (The Third Digression)
  • “All My Knowledge Is Gone”
  • A Story That Has No Ending
  • “Were It Not for War…” (In Place of an Epilogue)
  • Index

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