Charles Bernstein, Aspie’s Repetitive Behaviour, and An SFU Lecture.


A New York poet, brilliant and lauded professor, was the guest speaker at an SFU event.  As an adult with Asperger’s, I watched in fascination as he delivered a talk about the future of literature in general, and poetics in particular in North American educational institutions.

These are the notes I made at his lecture:

Feet crossed under his chair, wriggling, prodding each other.

Hands arthritic, gripping, releasing each other and his forearms.

Body rocking, seat lifting off the chair.

Head pulling the body up, down, forward.

Foot tapping it’s mate.

Voice clips.  Eyebrows lift and fall.

Hands fist.  Foot taps.  Shoulders writhe.  Hands press his weight against the table edge.

A brilliant mind bouncing around inside the ageing cage of his body.

No notes on the body of the lecture.

This whole issue interests me, both as a person with Asperger’s and as a person observing what clearly seems to me to be another person with Autistic tendencies.

I was so intrigued by the motion of the man, I could not concentrate on the content of his message.  Does that ever happen to you?

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean.

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