Synopses & Reviews
Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens
is a unique look at the quirky neurological phenomenon known as synesthesia. Sometimes described as a blending of perceptions, synesthesia occurs when one of the five senses is stimulated, yet two respond. This collision of sights, smells, sounds and tastes make for an odd, yet extremely colorful way of thinking!
Patricia Duffy draws from her own struggles and breakthroughs with synesthesia to help the reader better understand the condition. Along the way she introduces us to among other things, the different variations of synesthesia, brilliant synesthetes from the past, the likelihood of inheriting synesthesia, and the ongoing research devoted to it and its frequent connections to the creative process. In addition, the book describes some of the major theories as to why synesthesia occurs and offers accessible explanations. This is a must read for artists, writers, creative thinkers, as well as science and health buffs, or anyone generally intrigued by perception.
An illuminating exploration into the mind of synesthete, Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens offers a rare glimpse at the thought process that mystifies so many.
"Synesthesia is enjoying something of a renaissance. A hundred years ago, it was all the rage....After a long hiatus, artists are once again painting it, composers playing it and writers writing about it. In the past decade, at least four popular books have been dedicated to the topic. The most recent, Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens, by Patricia Duffy, is importantly the first to be written by someone who actually has the condition. Synesthesia isn't easy to fathom. People who don't have it have a hard time understanding let alone explaining what it's like. Duffy gives us an insider's view." Alison Motluk, Salon.com
Imagine a world in which words have colors and sounds have tastes. In his autobiography, Vladimir Nabokov described this neurological phenomenon, which helped inspire David Hockney's sets for the Metropolitan Opera. Richard Feynman experienced it while formulating the quantum theory that won him a Nobel Prize.
Sometimes described as a blending of perceptions, synesthesia occurs when only one of the fives senses is aroused but two respond. Journalist Patricia Lynne Duffy draws from her own struggles and breakthroughs with synesthesia to help us better understand the condition, while describing some of the major theories surrounding it.
An illuminating examination of the world of synesthetes, Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens is a must-read for science and health buffs, as well as for artists, writers, and creative thinkers-or anyone generally intrigued by the brain, the senses, and perception.
About the Author
Patricia Lynne Duffy 's
essays and articles have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, New York Newsday, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ms. Magazine, MIT's journal of science and art
and South Shore Express
. Her work is also included in the anthologies, They Only Laughed Later: Tales of Women on the Move and Soulful Living
. She is also co-founder and a consultant to the American Synesthesia Association.
Table of Contents
Colors hide within everything, including the night -- A black, E white, I red, U green, o blue, some day I'll crack your nascent origins -- --Perfumes, colors, sounds answer each other -- In life, so much depends on the question, 'do you see what I see?' -- It will be seen in the end how greatly metaphysicians and psychologists err-- -- If man is a being afloat in an ocean of vibrations, then-- -- For lack of attention, a thousand forms of loveliness elude us-- -- To teach the unfamiliar, set it in the world of the familiar -- The scraps of memory that stay with us after a dream-- -- Time is space -- The internet was made for synesthetes.