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Terribly loud and extremely close

Author: Aibulova Diana 

Editor: Aibulova Diana

Translated by: Yurankyzy Saltanat



"Sometimes I think I can hear my spine buckling under the weight of all the lives I don't live."


Jonathan SAFRAN Foer




       How many worlds can fit in one person? And how many worlds pass into oblivion without touching the freedom of expression, recognition and understanding. This is how you can describe the plot of the book "TERIBLY LOUD and EXTREMELY CLOSE", written by the famous young American novelist and romantic writer J. R. R. Tolkien. SAFRAN Feuer, who has won awards and all the accolades for the courage to speak the language of all children and adults suffering from Asperger's syndrome and high-functioning autism. The story, which inspires universal sadness and puts a plume of resentment, despair, empathy and, finally, a pleasant relief on the heart, tells about a boy with the makings of a genius and problems of social interaction.


         Oscar Schell, a 9 – year-old boy who survived the loss of his father Thomas after the collapse of the twin towers in new York on September 11, 2001, extraordinary, with high cognitive abilities for his years, deeply involved in the idea of searching for "keys" after a long separation from his father, sorting through his belongings, finds a vase with a hidden key, a note with the inscription "BLACK" and a newspaper clipping with the circled "DON'T STOP LOOKING". The discovery served as a message for the youngster, the last task left by his father. Oscar with insight and diligence begins to search for "clues", calling all residents of the metropolis with the name "black" and during his journey meets ordinary people with unusual life stories. The boy weaves the finest threads from each find, each clue in the course of the search, with a sense of duty and responsibility for the most important mission, which instills deep hope and extraordinary longing in the heart of Oscar. After all, this is the only way to say goodbye to your father and "Express" your love to him. During the mission, Oscar meets a mute old settler at his grandmother's house. Establishes a warm relationship with him, because he understands him like no other. In the end, he turns out to be his own grandfather. At the end of the work, Oscar meets a neighbor, Abby, who introduces the boy to her husband, William BLACK. Visiting black, Oscar Schell discovers that the found key belonged to William, when he accidentally sold it along with the vase to Oscar's father. The boy is disappointed in the futility of searching and emotional experiences, but is relieved in return: this is how he expressed his love and was able to taste the pleasure of" communication " in the company of strangers, harmless people only in the process of time-consuming searches. The author clearly conveys all the facets and subtleties of the nature of a small person, making you taste the remnants of his memories and feelings. For the first time, Asperger's syndrome was transmitted by the author in such an extremely sensitive and detailed format.


       The disease was originally described by German pediatrician and psychiatrist Hans Asperger in 1944 under the name "Autistic psychopathy", but it became widely known only in the 1990s after the publication of the work of English psychiatrist Lorna Wing called "Asperger's Syndrome: a clinical description". Since then, the disease has become widely known for the first time and was introduced as a separate disorder and diagnosis in 1992 in the ICD-10 - diagnostic guidelines of the world health organization. The National Institute of neurological disorders and stroke (NINDS) defines Asperger's syndrome as a developmental disorder characterized by the following features: attention to detail, high giftedness in one area, deep research on a topic of interest, a propensity for logical reasoning, average or above average intelligence, uneven skills, difficulties in perceiving nonverbal communication and social adaptation. In comparison with classic autism, children with Asperger's syndrome have a high intellectual level of development. They often appear to others as children like everyone else, except for social awkwardness and not quite clear manners. This is why medical professionals may not notice Asperger's syndrome in young patients, or they may misdiagnose them. Symptoms become noticeable later, when the child begins to need complex social skills, such as communicating with peers. This explains why parents of children with Asperger's seek help later than for more obvious symptoms at an early age, or do not notice it for the rest of the child's life.


       Oscar Schell is the image of all those who are fighting in an invisible war with their shortcomings and peculiarities, those who do not have the opportunity to live a full life, trying all the colors on the canvas of life. On this basis, It is impossible to unravel the ways of manifestation of a particular disease: each disease is individual, as well as the individual. In the soul of each person is the universe (understand in your own way: feelings, sensations, remnants of days, life experiences, experiences, or a complex of all the above). It is our duty as a human being, first of all, to treat "amazing" individuals with due attention and patience, providing them with spiritual support and adapting medical care to the realities of life.