Doctor Oliver Sacks, the renowned neurologist and author of such best-selling works as Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Tales how those with afflictions find way to create a new normal within a community of their own, using the H.G. Wells story “The Country of the Blind” to emphasize his point during a 1996 interview with Henry Tischler of WGBH-FM. This episode is part of the The Experimenters, an animated interview series from the creators of Blank on Blank.
I’d had a sort of haunting memory of an H.G. Wells story called The Country of the Blind, in which a lost traveler in South America blunders into an isolated mountain valley and finds a whole community of blind people …the traveler regards himself as the norm and a superior, and, in fact, he finds that he, that the people in the village are so well adapted to their condition, that he is the one who blunders and makes mistakes and is regarded as abnormal. And I certainly sometimes have the feeling that the achromatopes felt that we, so-called normals, wasted a lot of time talking about color, referring to color, paying attention to something which for them was nonexistent, which they could only imagine as trivial.