Thursday, February 26, 2009

RIP, Christopher Nolan

Acclaimed Irish writer Christopher Nolan died on Friday in Dublin. Mr Nolan, who had cerebral palsy, produced a highly praised volume of verse and short stories when he was 15 years-old, and then went on to receive the prestigious Whitbread Prize for his autobiography, Under the Eye of the Clock. According to family members, the cause of his death was food trapped in his airway. Mr Nolan was 43.

Mr Nolan had been able to communicate only through eye movements until the age of 11, when he began to take a new drug to relax his neck muscles. He began writing with a “unicorn stick” strapped to his forehead, typing a letter at a time on a keyboard as his mother held his chin in her hands.

Here is an extract from his obituary in the New York Times:

A prominent Los Angeles producer wanted to make a film of Mr. Nolan’s life story.

Mr. Nolan turned the offer down.“I want to highlight the creativity within the brain of a cripple,” he wrote to the producer, “and while not attempting to hide the crippledom I want instead to filter all sob-storied sentiment from his portrait and dwell upon his life, his laughter, his vision, and his nervous normality. Can we ever see eye-to-eye on that schemed scenario?”

The full obit is here ...